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By Henry, Winifred, Mrs.

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Book Id: WPLBN0100003003
Format Type: PDF eBook:
File Size: 0.8 MB
Reproduction Date: 4/5/2018

Title: Crossroads  
Author: Henry, Winifred, Mrs.
Language: English
Subject: Fiction, Drama and Literature, World War 2
Collections: Literature, Authors Community, Most Popular Books in China
Publication Date:
Publisher: Self-Published
Member Page: Adinas Henry


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Mrs. Winifred Henr, B. M., & Henry, A. (2018). Crossroads. Retrieved from

Winifred starts her story off in the first person, to create a personable feel for the reader; she then changed her story to the third person as it reads like fiction with all the colorful characters evolving. The reader must remember that everything in this story is actual facts of what happened in Winifred’s life; hence the story is a historical document as well. It is delightful to read, heartfelt, funny and also at times will have you in tears so be ready with your tissue boxes.

‘Crossroads’ is an up close and personal true story of Winifred’s life. It takes you through her amazing experiences of growing up in England; with various accounts of her life in early childhood and her youthful romance; as well as the hardships endured by the many struggling families during the depression years and World War 2. The subsequent effects had a substantial impact not only on her life but on the people all around her. This book is set to become a 20th Century sensation, for not only is it a literary gem, but it also has great historical value for those interested in what life was like for a struggling family living in Britain during the 1930’s and 1940’s. It would certainly make for a great mini-series for its depiction of the various characters created from that era.

The light and the dark shadows danced in grotesque shapes on the freshly painted green and cream walls, at times, reaching out, in mythical movements, towards the well baked off-white of the ceiling. A loud ticking alarm clock, from its place of importance on the mantle-piece, disturbed the silence of the room, acting like a hypnotist’s metronome on the man sleeping in the deep old fashioned arm chair. Singed hair tumbled boyishly about his once handsome face. The slightest movement he made brought sounds of moaning from swollen lips. Flashing firelight revealed the cause of the pain. Blisters that hung in bunches’ like grapes, almost the size of walnuts, decorated his shoulder and wove themselves right down one side of his body. I slowly opened the door so as not to disturb my father and tip-toed my way across towards the wreckage of human flesh slumped on the chair. I was a child of seven with large curls of hair that ran down to my shoulders now sparkling gold in the bright glow of the flickering firelight. I had large blue eyes that held the fathoms of the ages in them; such was the wisdom bestowed upon me. Looking at my father’s exposed burnt raw flesh, tears welling up in my eyes, bending down I planted a kiss on his forehead. Picking up my rag doll from the chair that cradled him, I left the room. Halfway along the narrow hallway a loud knocking on the door startled me. “Mummy, is that you?” I yelled. “Yes dear, hurry and let me in.” Balancing on the tips of my toes, I reached up to the door knob and turned it. A woman entered carrying a small frail child. She went into the kitchen and laid him down on the old couch tucking a blanket around him. On entering the hall again, I called out to my elder sister Milly - she appeared, sleepy-eyed from the back bedroom, looking older than her nine years. Her long almost snow white hair had been cut very short. Our cousins from next door had played at curling it round sticks of wood soaked in kerosene bought for a farthing a bundle at the local shop. The splinters from the wood had tangled her hair beyond hope of repair. Her hair had been cropped close to the scalp giving somewhat of a boyish look to her appearance. All the same, she did not lack charm and a good measure of humor, her witticisms being a byword among her family and friends. When she went to school the white badge she wore showed her to be the top of her class. Now she busied herself laying cups and saucers on the large wooden table, making as little noise as possible for fear of waking her father. Milly gently shook her father. He coughed and moaned and finally woke up. Automatically he glanced at the clock, “You've woken me ten minutes late Milly. Where's your mother?” “She is sleeping.” “What did the doctor say about him?” He asked nodding painfully in the direction of the sleeping child. “Mum never said.” replied Milly Turning towards the table Milly gathered up clean strips of flannelette and began to gently bandage his burnt arm, looking as she finished, for the praise which was sure to follow. “Top job nurse, now get me tea batches, while I do me leg.” Eagerly she fetched them for him. This consisted of condensed milk, sugar and tea all mixed together, enough to make several pots of tea. It was then placed into grease proof paper and twisted into a bundle just large enough to fit into a side pocket together with the sandwiches so preventing him from leaving his lunch behind on the tram, for at times he found it difficult to stay awake. Milly stood on a chair in order to help him on with his overcoat which hung heavily on the blistered parts of his body. Assisting her down, he bayed her good night. A worried expression crossed his face as he looked down on his sleeping son. He stepped out into the cold night and was soon engulfed by darkness. A tram came zigzagging along the lines situated along the middle of the roads. A few passengers waiting to board behind him became impatient at his apparent slowness, “What's the matter mate, not awake yet? Get a move on will yer.” This was followed by much pushing. They all seemed determined to get in out of the cold even for only a short time. Jack then became aware of a trickling sensation as fluid began to ooze from his blisters and run down his body. They had been broken up by the pushing. He let out such a cry of anger and pain that they all fell back from him. This brought the conductors down from collecting the tickets upstairs. “Steady on all of yer. Steady on, ere let’s get this bloke up from the floor shall we. What's the matter mate, had one too many?” He bent over Bill, but seeing the state of his face exclaimed, “Core blimey mate, fell in a fire did yer? Yer shouldn't be out on a night like this.” He helped him onto a seat close to the entrance so he could keep an eye on him. “Core, the size of them blisters, funny how only one side of his face is burnt.” The other passengers, now seated, constantly peered back at him. He was unaware of this for fresh pain had brought waves of blackness before his eyes, which he desperately strove to fight off. By the time the tram came clanging to his stop he had recovered enough to alight without help, or so he thought, for people sitting next to him had other ideas and treating him, in his eyes, like a docile old man. They proceeded to grab him by his arms thinking to help him down the tram stairway into the street. As he walked away he waved his good arm shouting imprecations of a dire nature causing the conductor in consternation to exclaim, “I dunno, there's something funny about 'im besides his face, there's no pleasing some people.”


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