The Hopeful Traveller

Mary Hocking

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A Time of War told the story of a group of Wrens on a West Country airfield, but now the war is over, the girls are dispersed, and must learn to endure the rigours of the early post-war years, as well as the boredoms and perplexities of civilian life.

While Kerren takes a job as a librarian and tries to forget her husband, who was killed in the war, her friend, Robin, has married a kind, conventional lawyer and lives in Cheltenham. But the lives of these two are still, though more remotely, linked; their reunions with other men and women from the old Station, and Kerren's efforts to adapt herself to a life far less sheltered than her wartime one, provide both comedy and some near-tragedy.

Mary Hocking drew on her own experiences as an ex-Wren to trace the changes of emotional temperature, the disillusionment and the challenges, the need to realize new ways of life and the necessity to re-create themselves, experienced by her characters in this wonderful novel.

In the media
The Hopeful Traveller, a successful sequel to the author's A Time of War, follows the ex-Wrens into Civvy Street . . . It shows a convincing understanding of young women. We seem to be looking out of their eyes as we read . . .

The Listener

Sequels are notoriously difficult to bring off, but Miss Hocking's The Hopeful Traveller is an exception. In her earlier book, A Time of War, she wrote about a group of Wrens on an airfield in the West Country. In this new one the station has been disbanded . . . The main problem facing the girls is how to adapt to civilian ways . . . Miss Hocking recreates this uneasy period of English domestic history with subtlety and humour.

Sunday Telegraph