home fires book coverWin a copy of Home Fires: The Story of the Women’s Institute in the Second World War by Julie Summers! 

Open to US residents only

About the book

This September, Penguin Book is reissuing Home Fires, Julie Summers’ fascinating social history of the Women’s Institute during World War II. Now adopted for television, this remarkable and true story of a brave group of women will premiere this fall as a PBS Masterpiece, starring Samantha Bond (Downton Abbey) and Francesca Annis (Cranford), surely delighting fans of Call the Midwife and Foyle’s War.

Away from the front lines of World War II, in towns and villages across Great Britain, ordinary women were playing a vital role in their country’s war effort. As members of the Women’s Institute, an organization with a presence in a third of Britain’s villages, they ran canteens and knitted garments for troops, collected tons of rose-hips and other herbs to replace medicines that couldn’t be imported, and advised the government on issues ranging from evacuee housing to children’s health to postwar reconstruction. But they are best known for making jam: from produce they grew on every available scrap of land, they produced twelve million pounds of jam and preserves to feed a hungry nation. Through archival material and interviews with current and former Women’s Institute members, Home Fires gives us an intimate look at life on the home front during World War II.

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