Set in Queensland from 1942, this Historical Fiction, Daughter of the Home Front deals with people during the war period. The main character, Emma Hatton, is a smart young woman who had never had the chance for further education. She had to leave school and help with menial jobs to support the family.
From the beginning we see that Emma’s family life is not happy. Her mother is a bully and tough, and her father is away as an enlisted man. So, for Emma, her days were occupied by washing the American soldiers’ uniforms to earn some money.
Ration coupons were supplemented by the money she and her mother made. When she was sixteen, according to War time law the young girl was sent to Brisbane to work for the Government. She helped with Red Cross, boarding with other girls which is where she met Cassie who would become her friend for life.
Emma meets charismatic marine Frank Kendrick and as she become further involved she truly believes she will get proposal from the young man, eventually being able move to America at the end of the war. He disappears and she is left to face the consequences of their brief liaison.
Emma finds herself sent to one of the ‘institutions’ for unwed mothers but manages to find the strength, with the support of her dearest friend to prevent herself from being crushed.
Daughter of the Home Front encompasses times and social standards, which seem extreme now, but were the norm for Queensland, as they were for most states in Australia, at that time. As the story portrays, there are moments when it is hard to believe tales of the harsh and brutal systems which flourished. However, from history we know these to be true.
Daughter of the Home Front is a reminder that it was only until recently in Australia, that shame and punishment were seen as the way forward to a functioning society.
|Publisher||Harper Collins Publishers Australia|
|Distributor||HarperCollins Publishers Australia|