The Last of the War Brides
Autobiography of Jacqueline O'Neill DahmBook - 2004
The Last of the War Brides takes the reader from 1920's Great Britain to the late 1990's in Canada. Author Jacqueline O'Neill Dahm's writing style reminds one of a Grandma Moses painting... simple, straightforward and always from the heart. Her journey starts in London at a time when some areas were still lit by gaslights and the cries of street vendors filled the morning air. Jaqueline's mother, a free spirited, green-eyed, black haired Irish woman disappeared shortly after the author's birth. The responsibility for caring for Jaqueline and her older sister, Mamie, fell to her father, a song and dance man, vaudevillian and time-to-time housepainter. After a serious accident he was unable to fulfill his parental duties and local authorities simply dumped the two young girls into a Catholic Convent. Readers will soon meet a plethora of characters that live through and in the ensuing chapters. Harshly disciplinary nuns, wealthy and tight fisted employers of Upstairs Downstairs scullery maids and virtually enslaved cooks. Ornery landladies, free booting gypsies and a myriad of England's hawkers of seaside entertainment and culinary productions. At the ripe old age of fourteen, Jacqueline, as was customary, entered the work force, just in time for the arrival of World War II. In those days of "This may be the last time to dance," and "Let's not give a damn about tomorrow," Jacqueline lived almost around the clock. What little sleep she did manage to get was generally interrupted by the nightly Blitz. In 1946, after war's end, she married a Canadian soldier from Alberta. Her journey to Canada in 1947, as one of the last war brides to do so, began a whole new chapter in her life. Her journeys thereto are twofold... a search for information about other civilizations... and a pilgrimage to find a spiritual pathway that really makes sense.