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Wednesday, 8 March 2017


What would have happened if Germany had won World War Two? What would it have been like for Britain to be occupied by the enemy? These are the questions posed by SS:GB - a new drama on BBC1 that everyone is talking about. The book is based on Len Deighton's hugely successful alternative history novel of the same name, published in 1978.

But this story isn't new. The British residents of the Channel Islands will tell you that  the Nazis  occupied British soil from 1940 - 1945. They don't need to watch an account of it on television because they still remember history being made. I know because my grandparents lived though the Occupation of Guernsey: they sent their 10-year-old son on the last evacuee boat to Britain and never saw him again.

In my novel Occupying Love I have written a fictional account of the Occupation based on real events. I hope it reflects the pain and anguish  suffered by so many islanders; the cold, the hunger and the ever-present threat of death. But I also like to thnk it might represent a change of heart.

My grandmother never recovered from losing her son but  she still had the grace to say that a mother's grief will always be the same, whichever side you are fighting for.

Maybe it's time we changed our attitude to war,  when the horror it represents is transmitted into our living rooms every single day. Maybe, just like my grandmother, we should all pray for peace.


Barbara Fisher said...

Hello Marilyn, your grandmother sounds like a remarkable woman. I can’t imagine how awful it must have been for her never to see her son again, and yet she had the capacity to think about others.

As you know, I’ve read Occupying Love and enjoyed it very much but more than that I also learnt a great deal from it. It is incomprehensible to me that we still use guns and other weapons to main and kill – when will we ever learn?

As for SS:GB I watched the first episode, couldn’t understand a word anyone said (because of the mumbling) and gave up.

Guernsey Girl said...

I wonder how stoic we would all be, Barbara, if, as a nation, we had to face the same heartbreak and hardship as we did in the Second World War?

Like you, I was very disappointed with the mumbling on SS:GB but I have persisted because I want to know what happens in the end! Lovely to hear from you, as always. :)