Love in the Blitz by Eileen Alexander
On July 17th 1939, Eileen Alexander, a bright young woman recently graduated from Girton College, Cambridge, begins a brilliant correspondence with fellow Cambridge student Gershon Ellenbogen that lasts five years and spans many hundreds of letters.
But as Eileen and Gershon’s relationship flourishes from friendship and admiration into passion and love, the tensions between Germany, Russia, and the rest of Europe reach a crescendo. When war is declared, Gershon heads for Cairo and Eileen forgoes her studies to work in the Air Ministry.
As cinematic as Atonement, written with the intimacy of the Neapolitan quartet, Love in the Blitz is an extraordinary glimpse of life in London during World War II and an illuminating portrait of an ordinary young woman trying to carve a place for herself in a time of uncertainty. As the Luftwaffe begins its bombardment of England, Eileen, like her fellow Britons, carries on while her loved ones are called up to fight, some never to return home.
Written over the course of the conflict, Eileen’s letters provide a vivid and personal glimpse of this historic era. Yet throughout the turmoil and bloodshed, one thing remains constant: her beloved Gershon, who remains a source of strength and support, even after he, too, joins the fighting. Though his letters have been lost to time, the bolstering force of his love for Eileen is illuminated in her responses to him.
Equal parts heartrending and heartwarming, Love in the Blitz is a timeless romance and a deeply personal story of life and resilience amid the violence and terror of war.
Year first published: 2020