As Luck Would Have It 
by Monty Raine
Trafford Publishing

"The whole Tyneside region during the thirties and forties was highly industrialized, being well noted for shipbuilding and heavy engineering works."

What kind of memories and emotions come flooding back when a person, who has been away from his homeland for several decades, decides to return? This memoir is the author's story of doing just that. He was born in the 1930s in coal mining area of Northeast England. He was raised by his grandmother after his mother died. Despite the hardships of World War II and coal mining towns, he had a childhood "woven of mostly joys" mixed with a "sprinkling" of humor and sorrow. He married and settled in Canada where he stayed for thirty-two years before returning to England to reconnect with his past.

The author describes going to school carrying identification cards and masks in case of air raids. The description of houses in the coal villages paints them thick with dust on the outside. He also describes the prejudice he experienced in school based on whether a student was rich and poor. There is a lot of name dropping throughout the book of people who were important in his life. Perhaps those characters would become more alive had he chosen to include dialogue and not tell the story completely as a narrative. At times, the black and white photos are not clear and some are very small. But for his family, and people growing up during World War II, or for those who are history buffs, this book provides an accurate and interesting account of what life during this era.

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