Family tale tells the story of wartime Portsmouth

Sisters who published their mother’s story, which describes family life and loss in wartime Blitz-hit Portsmouth, will be carrying out a book signing next week.

By Gemma Wardle
Friday, 31st May 2019, 3:33 pm
Updated Friday, 31st May 2019, 7:53 pm
A 1947 picture of Margaret aged 31, Maureen aged seven and Gillian aged three
A 1947 picture of Margaret aged 31, Maureen aged seven and Gillian aged three

Bombweed tells the story of family life, love and loss. Margaret Smith originally wrote the story in 1947. Her wartime experiences create the framework for a historical tale of the trauma of home front life in Portsmouth.

Her daughters, Gillian Fernandez Morton and Maureen Armstrong have adapted the story to appeal to contemporary readers. They found the original, battered transcript on top of a wardrobe and were passionate about highlighting what family life was really like after wartime loss.

Published in July 2018, the story explores the feelings and issues that surrounded the hope for an ordinary Portsmouth family with an extraordinary future.

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The different responses of the three sisters within the story symbolises different responses to the impact of trauma and how this influence a person’s life. 

Gillian and Maureen will be doing book signings in WHSmiths, Commercial Road at 2pm on Friday, June 7. They will also be attending the Southwick Revival D-Day 75th Anniversary event on Saturday, June 8 and Sunday, June 9 in the Homefront Marquee.