Troubador Brave Faces

Released: 28/07/2015

ISBN: 9781784623388

eISBN: 9781784629809

Format: Paperback/eBook

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Brave Faces


Brave Faces is Mary Arden’s story as she moves from her privileged English upbringing to dealing with the realities of World War II. Mary’s memoir gives an insight into the changes in society that took place with the advent of war. As the Second World War breaks out, Mary’s parents are determined that their daughter’s privileged upbringing should continue, and that life should carry on as much as normal. She is sent to finishing school and becomes a debutante attending ‘coming out’ balls in London, despite the nightly bombing raids. However, Mary is determined to do her bit for the war effort, and volunteers to serve as a Red Cross Nurse, before joining the WRNS. Accepted into the WRNS, not as an officer, but as ‘other rank’, Mary has to learn to live a very different kind of life to the one she was brought up to expect. She is used to being chaperoned, only talking to men she has been ‘introduced’ to, so it’s an almost impossible task for her Senior WREN Officer to find a suitable category for this naive girl. Mary finally becomes part of a new elite category known as Night Vision Testers, training the young pilots to see in the dark so they can land their planes on the deck of their aircraft carrier and not in the sea. As the war progresses, Mary moves from one Naval Air station to another. Her tasks become stranger than fiction and her duties are definitely outside her job description – and most probably outside the rules too. An evocative memoir about one woman’s life from privilege to service, heartbreak to laughter.

This England

You Magazine

Lymington Times

Milford-on-Sea News

Straight on till Friday

Salisbury Journal

Chalke Valley News

Quidhampton Newsletter

Mary Arden has written her book from a perspective that I've not read before; as a young woman whose life changes rather quickly from idyllic and innocent to the cold realities of WWII. Mary's memories are precise, descriptive and very well-written. Thanks to Mary and her editor for the great read!

by Barb from Canada

Entertaining and emotional. "A cracking good read!"

by Paul Maxwell

Mary Arden gives us a revealing insight into war life for a young woman in Britain at a desperate time of survival. There is tragedy here as well as drama and a bitter sweet finale. It's a light read that shows us the values that helped her and others 'carry on' under extraordinary circumstances, and details of daily living create a lasting impression of how to make the most with very little. A great read!

by Richard Darley

Interesting to hear another side of the war, what it was like as a person living life, not fighting or living in the thick of it but how it still impacted their lives on numerous levels. Brave Faces indeed, an inspiring woman.

by HJR

A very readable account of a woman from a privileged background growing up fast during the second world war. Her parents insist Mary goes to finishing school and 'comes out' as a debutante even though London is being bombed and her mother is driving ambulances every day. When Mary breaks away she joins the Wrens where she meets people from all social classes and begins a different aspect of her education. Her openness to all experiences and willingness to accept people as they are makes this a lovely read.

by BJT

Best book I have read in ages, very interesting to read such a personal account in to life in the war and is a privilege to learn more about this wonderful lady.

by Alun J Sands

Fabulous book, left me wanting to know more about this amazing woman and all the people in the book. Would encourage everyone to read it.

by CEH

Really interesting and unique! What happens next?

by Toby Albu

Amazing and touching story.

by Tim R

This is a wonderful book, full of passion and detail. Mary may be naive, but she is brave, resouceful, amusing and entertaining. Favourite read for a long time and highly recommended.

by Paul Maxwell

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