This sensitively written book describes the experiences of mainly British children sent overseas to countries considered to be safe, such as Canada, the USA, Australia but some to other countries considered safe at the time. There was a lot of disagreement within our shores about whether or not it was right to send them. She carefully explains all the points of view at that time and gives heart rending description of parents putting children into the hands of strangers across the world so that they would be safe, with no guarantee of seeing them again.
The book is divided into three sections;
The first deals with what was happening in Britain at the time, including taking in German Jew children who were at risk.
The details of the government scheme to evacuate children out of Britain and the arrangements made for travel.
How the children reacted to being sent away to what seems to some an exciting adventure and others a terrifying experience.
The second part of the book describes the arrival and the process of finding homes for the children. The way some children remembered a totally different culture and how well or badly they adapted to it.
This also deals with the difficulty of communicating with the family back in Britain and the fears when there had been no contact for a while.
The third and final part of the book deals with return journeys and reunions, years later than expected. Some returners had become accustomed to being very well fed in the USA and returned to rationing. They found they had less freedom. The younger ones did not remember their parents and found it distressing to be uprooted and sent back to people who were strangers to them. Jessica Mann shows in her book how incredibly difficult it was for many on their return.
Naturally Mann gives her own point of view about how everything was organized but is grateful to be sent to a place of safety.