I enjoy historical pieces. I hoped to enjoy this memoir of an upper class young woman who volunteered as an ambulance driver during WWII. Her interesting experiences, however, are muddled; she prattles on about this or that with no cohesiveness of thought. The author had many experiences, but regretfully, they are a hodgepodge in thi I enjoy historical pieces.
The author had many experiences, but regretfully, they are a hodgepodge in this memoir. Jun 16, Bonnye Reed rated it it was amazing Shelves: GNab I received a free electronic copy of this memoir from Netgalley, Bloomsbury Caravel Publishers, and the heirs of Anita Leslie in exchange for an honest review. Thank you all for sharing your hard work with me. This personal history was originally published in This is a very different account of the major battles of WWII.
Anita Leslie takes us with her as she travels through all of the major the battles of World War II on four fronts from autumn of through the end of Because GNab I received a free electronic copy of this memoir from Netgalley, Bloomsbury Caravel Publishers, and the heirs of Anita Leslie in exchange for an honest review. Because the British did not allow their ladies to serve at the front, Anita bounced around between publishing broadsheets for the English speaking allied soldiers and driving ambulances for the French army.
Her memories and experiences of various battles and the occupation of Germany show us a much more personal experience than we were able to extract from history books. I am grateful for this view point. It gives me a much better understanding of the costs of war and also of the camaraderie and lifelong friendships that are a result of those shared experiences.
One Woman's World War II, Ambulance Driver, Reporter, Liberator
Thank you, Bloomsbury Caravel, for reprinting this gem. Aug 08, Mystica rated it liked it. Having read so many books based on either personal experiences or as a story based on some facts, Anita Leslie's memoirs came as a bit of a shock. It seems slightly sardonic, slightly sarcastic view of life on four war fronts which by itself is remarkable. She served as an ambulance driver and obviously saved hundreds of lives, braving a lot of horror but the story is told like as if its from a distance and there is no personal involvement.
A job has to be done, its done well and thats it. In th Having read so many books based on either personal experiences or as a story based on some facts, Anita Leslie's memoirs came as a bit of a shock. In this case however the job was not a clear cut one and for most people war does take it out of you. Anita Leslie seemed to have bounced back very nicely. Good for her but it left me feeling slightly let down! When the MTC was disbanded, Leslie decided not to join the British version of ambulance drivers, because the women didn't work on the front.
There wasn't any hatred of the Germans, and Leslie didn't try to make herself look like the hero of her story, although she was at the Front, and drove the sick and wounded in very extreme circumstances, so she could definitely be considered heroic. Leslie had friends and people she was friendly with killed, accidentally got ahead of the tanks advancing several times, and had to live in conditions that, although she became inured to them, were not what she was used to growing up.
I enjoyed seeing the respect that Leslie had for a lot of the people that she met, no matter their race or origin, and her recounts of things that had obviously hurt when they happened were treated with a matter of fact tone that made everything that much more real.
I also enjoyed the fact that she felt that the French men were much more realistic about gender equality than the British at that time, since British women were not allowed to serve on the Front, and French women had done so in WWI as well. This told the story of something that I had never read about in history books, and I feel that it is a story that needs to be heard.
Jun 30, Margaret Sankey rated it it was amazing. Leslie, a cousin of Winston Churchill, had the dysfunctional aristocratic upbringing of a Wodehouse novel--sketchy schooling, left with grandparents on an Irish estate with its own local IRA contingent, expected to be blithe, flappery and flirtatious and never, ever get sunburned. Instead, while her two brothers joined the British military, Leslie signed up for the womens' Motorized Transport Corps to drive ambulances, and this memoir follows her from the half-assed training camp under the Bat Leslie, a cousin of Winston Churchill, had the dysfunctional aristocratic upbringing of a Wodehouse novel--sketchy schooling, left with grandparents on an Irish estate with its own local IRA contingent, expected to be blithe, flappery and flirtatious and never, ever get sunburned.
Instead, while her two brothers joined the British military, Leslie signed up for the womens' Motorized Transport Corps to drive ambulances, and this memoir follows her from the half-assed training camp under the Battle of Britain girl scouts had to show them all how to pitch tents while the planes roared overhead through Egypt, working on the Eastern Times newspaper out of Beirut, joining the Free French army to get into liberating Europe and writing accounts of Russians in Berlin while sitting in Hitler's recently vacated office.
Leslie grew into the better traits of her time and class--sangfroid, dark humor and a sense of searing fair play which make her accounts of retreating Nazis murdering ambulance drivers and witnessing the effects of the CBO particularly powerful. This is a re-issue of the work, which ran counter to the way the public wanted to see women in the wake of WWII.
About Train to Nowhere
Jul 04, Leith Devine rated it really liked it Shelves: This is an amazing book. It was written during WWII by a fearless woman who wouldn't normally have been allowed in war zones, and she goes through different countries and war zones as an ambulance driver with an adventurous attitude and a keen eye.
As she goes from North Africa to the European theater, the battles get closer and the encounters more dangerous. She's with the Free French Army as they liberate Paris, watches the Berlin liberation parade from the grandstand, visits Hitler's office, a This is an amazing book. She's with the Free French Army as they liberate Paris, watches the Berlin liberation parade from the grandstand, visits Hitler's office, and is horrified when she sees Nordhausen concentration camp after it has been liberated. The description of the camp is chilling. Her stories of the battle of Colmar in France are harrowing.
She goes back to Ireland and England after the battle, and ends up having lunch with her cousin Winston Churchill, who is busy making "phone calls to Eden and 'Ike' and Roosevelt". She tries to tell him about France, "the hungry broken country we had left behind us". Anita Leslie is funny and irreverent.
She makes her war experience sound like a "lark" at times, which contrasts with the stark reality of the thousands of deaths she witnesses. It can make for a jarring read at times, especially when she goes from discussing death to fashion in France in the same paragraph.
She meets many mothers of soldiers, both Allies and enemies, and sympathizes with them all. I really enjoyed this book, especially the ending, and readers of historical fiction will appreciate it. Jul 12, Terri Wangard rated it really liked it. Jul 30, Katrina Oliver rated it it was amazing Shelves: Initially posted to Egypt, then Syria and Lebanon, she writes about the people she encounters there , which I found particularly interesting when considering the current conflict in Syria.
Yangon's train to nowhere
Anita is keen to be where the action is, and when the war starts Excellent book, especially if you want to know what it was REALLY like during the push into France and then Germany after D-day. Anita is keen to be where the action is, and when the war starts to progress into Europe she applies for a transfer to Italy.
In Naples, she looks after casualties of Anzio and Cassino. When the MTC is incorporated into the ATS, meaning that British women will be kept well away from the front, she volunteers as an ambulance driver to the French forces following closely behind tanks as they make their way through Europe.
This is a first hand account of her experiences during this very tumultuous period in history, and is an enthralling read.
The day to day difficulties faced by troops, finding food, somewhere to sleep, indiscriminate death and injury, concentration camps, Berlin and the German people are all described in a very accessible and interesting way. This is not a book about the glory of war, but more the facts of daily life; and in its telling you gain a remarkably clear picture of how it was. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this and learnt some surprising facts that I was previously unaware of. An excellent read for anyone interested in WW2.
I was fortunate to receive a review copy from the publisher via netgalley and am pleased to be able to highly recommend this book. Aug 22, Daphne Sharpe rated it it was amazing. What a marvellous war Anita Leslie had!! Daughter of a Baronet and related to Winston Churchill,she had a privileged life and sought excitement in her life despite there being a war raging throughout the world. Down to earth and scatty in equal parts,this book is a thoughtful and playful account of a well bred female ,who trained as an ambulance mechanic and driver and ended up being posted to Cairo,Syria and the Lebanon and eventually ended up in the European theatre of War.
These young women w What a marvellous war Anita Leslie had!! These young women were practically minded and just got on with life, finding time for parties and adventure that involved tales of daring and a can do attitude. I found this book to be full of surprising facts about the role of women on the front line,who knew the French to be more liberal in their attitudes about women than the British? Anita saw the war as an adventure,yet had spells of levity when complaining about missing her maids and her attitudes about people of different races do make for uncomfortable reading with our modern eyes.
These woman were capable and determined to do as good a job as the men in the war effort. I found this an enjoyable read and would be invaluable to History teachers as they seek to tip the scales a little more fairly towards the gentler sex. Aug 21, Susan rated it it was ok. Train to Nowhere is a great first person account of World War II but only in the singular view of Ms Leslie without external context making it somewhat hard to place in the greater story of the way. Additionally, I felt Ms. Leslie represented a limited and pampered view as she spent most of her service away from the front lines and included comments about the lack of proper maids and "How sick I grew of these tales - how could one want to live in such a world?
It felt insulting to the people who were apparently boring her. Later she becomes "bored with the outcry about concentration camp horrors. Overall, I was left with the feeling I had read a travelogue of a kid on a European gap year instead of someone who had been actively involved in a war. A copy of this book was provided by NetGalley and Bloomsbury Publishing Place in exchange for an honest review. Aug 21, Michelle Kidwell rated it it was amazing.
Anita Leslie wasn't a likely person to find on the battlefield during World War Two. In England Anita reads an advertisement searching for Women drivers ready to go to Africa. In a may heatwave they dealt with temperatures that soared to degrees. She went from Egypt to Transjordan and in the Autumn of she had to leave Transjordan and head for Beirut where she would resume working with the Eastern Times! In May of Anita is sent to Italy where she worked as an ambulance driver transporting the injured.
In this book we learn just what Anita Leslie went through, and her efforts to help in World War 2. I give it five out of five stars. Feb 18, Kelley rated it it was ok. This book sounds amazing. Everything about it it right up my alley Traveling, helping, surviving, interacting with all different people.
Train to Nowhere
I wanted to be intrigued and inspired. Expected to be wowed and enthralled None of that happened. This leaves me feeling cheated, empty, confused, and conflicted. How could a book that everything about it even down to the cover seems to call to me leave me so flat? There is SO much here! Her This book sounds amazing. Her details are impeccable, her journeys far flung, but I was utterly bored almost from the get-go. I think it was her writing style, overly verbose to too descriptive about the little things. If it seems interesting to you give it a chance.
She truly has a lot to share. Jan 24, Joyb Animalcrackers rated it did not like it. Reluctantly I gave up and was unable to wade through any more of this. The narrator was born in and the area she describes is a regular news item today so it should be a really interesting read. With half an hour to spare before the train arrives, I wander around the station. Embellished by four towers, each topped by golden, pagoda-like ornaments, it is unmistakably Burmese in its appearance.
- The Burmese Harp (1956).
- A Blue Fish In A Sea of Pink.
- Twin Towers Remembered?
- Pulver und Schüttgüter: Fließeigenschaften und Handhabung (VDI-Buch) (German Edition).
The original station, built by the British in , was destroyed during World War II and rebuilt in the s using the design of a local engineer. Its grandeur may have faded over the past 60 years, but there is much charm inside and outside its walls. Many of the trains which depart from this station offer much longer journeys than the circular train, some of them taking more than 12 hours, such as the trip to the northern city of Mandalay.
So there are people everywhere preparing for big voyages. Elderly people sleep together on the ground to build energy for their sojourn. Families carry giant boxes of products destined for their home towns. Children from the countryside excitedly play with toys purchased in the shiny new shops of this swiftly expanding metropolis. As I'm staring at the weathered ceiling of the station's once- magnificent entrance hall, I realise my train is due to arrive in just a few minutes. I dash through the station - the train is on the platform already. All the seats have been taken and I'm left standing in the aisle.
This is not as big a problem as it first seems because the train stops so frequently - there are 39 stops - that people are vacating their seats regularly. Settling into a newly open spot by the window, I quickly realise why this circular train has become so popular with tourists.
Yangon's train to nowhere, Travel News & Top Stories - The Straits Times
Train travel is fantastic for admiring scenery. The circular train moves so slowly that you are able to absorb each neighbourhood you pass through, observing its character and noting its rhythms and idiosyncrasies. Where fast, modern trains reduce the passing environment to a blur, Yangon's ever-so-slow variety almost gives you enough time to count the screws on the rail track below. In the city centre, the streets are clogged with cars, trucks and motorbikes weaving with minimal caution around this moving metallic mess.
The further we venture out into the suburbs, the more slowly everything and everyone seem to operate, the frenetic energy of downtown Yangon having dissipated. I can see into many humble railside houses, where I spot a surprising number of new flat-screen TVs, connected to the satellite dishes which seem to top every other building. Shortly before my journey finishes, I look on intrigued as three young monks take photos of one another with smartphones while lying down in a park.
It is evidence of the increasing modernisation of a country which, until five years ago, was in many ways closed off to the world, under heavy military control.