Tag Archives: Survival

Heaven Tempers the Wind by Hazel Barker

Review by  Kathy Stewart

I knew very little about the conflict in Burma during the Second World War and read this book with great interest. It struck me as the story of many wars, both personal and on a larger scale, as mother and father come into conflict, as they battle to keep true to their values, and as the father’s growing alcoholism impacts on his nature and his relationship with his family. All this is played out against the backdrop of a vicious and confronting war that had consumed the whole world.

Hazel Barker was just a small child, unable to grasp the enormity of what was about to be thrust upon them when the bombs first fell on her home town, Rangoon. They had lived an idyllic lifestyle, wanting for nothing, but their magical world was soon shattered and they were forced to flee, before being propelled into a battle for their very existence. Facing many hardships, not least of which were famine and the death of a beloved family member, they struggled to keep their family intact while their war raged both internally and externally.

An interesting and honest account of the ravages of war and also of individuals’ struggles to maintain their strong sense of self and of their values.44

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Heaven Tempers the Wind. A Memoir by Hazel Barker

HAZEL lives in Rangoon with her family in the wonder and bliss of childhood until the bombing of Burma in Christmas 1941 wrenches them from their home.

Sickness and starvation take their toll. The youngest sister gets smallpox and the older one dies of plague. A brother takes part in sabotage against the invaders. Another feeds his younger siblings with bones brought home by their dog.

Caught up in the traumas of war, Hazel thinks she’s on a holiday at first. Later on, she pines for her comfortable home, her dolls, and above all, her beloved sister.

Will the family survive the war, and will Hazel ever overcome her long-lingering emotional aftermath?

 

heaven tempers the wind cover

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