When I first started reading E.M. Delafield's The War Workers (1918) I thought I was in for a boring character study, but I was very wrong. I went into this story blind, as I could not find any plot descriptions or reviews on the story, but I decided to take a chance on it since I enjoyed Delafield's other work.
Set during WWI, this story focuses on a group of women all employed at the same war office. There are class differences and personality differences, but it never comes off as a class struggle or catty. You are given a glimpse into the lives of a group of people for a series of time, leaving them after some events unfold, their lives changed, but not drastically so. The pace of the story reminded me a little bit of The Fortnight in September, or Greenbanks, but it has more events, more changes that occur to the characters that makes it more engaging.
"Shell making, Edinburgh" Sir John Lavery (Scottish National Portrait Gallery)
This short book was enjoyable to read and the characters are built in a way that you get sucked into their lives. I found myself rooting for certain people/relationships, which is something that is rare for me to do in a book.
The scenes that take place in the hostel between the group of war workers, especially the domestic scene on their Sunday off, was lovely and picturesque to read. I was a bit sad to finish the book because the group of women Delafield created was so fun to include myself in, even though they were in a war. The camaraderie of the women during this time was awesome to read about and get lost in. Even if you could care less about war stories or home front stories, I think you'd find this book enjoyable because it is mainly about the people rather than the situation they are in.