Friday, July 8, 2011

Before the Last All Clear by Ray Evans

Before The Last All Clear is the memoir of Ray Evans, a child evacuee during WWII.

A sad and tragic tale, Ray talks about how the school sends him and his brothers and sisters home with a letter about all children and women to be evacuated immediately and the must always carry a gas mask. 

This is the time that air raids happened all of the time, and although Ray's parents knew the children were going to be split up, it didn't happen as they had anticipated.

Ray is sent to many different homes and as a young boy, it impacted his life greatly.  The foster families were not always kind, and some were downright cruel.  Ray speaks about his struggle and his personal goal to survive with candid aplomb.  He eventually does find a loving family but it takes years and what he had been through prior to that home will live in his memories forever.

Before The Last All Clear is a birdseye view of wartime Britain through the eyes of a young boy.  Heartrending, horrific and yet written in such a clear cut way as to enlighten the reader.   Details of the nauseating turmoil that the people had to endure is only a backdrop to Ray's personal story.  What he experienced would probably mentally break a majority of people.  Ray sought that light and endured.  A truly remarkable novel.

Born in Liverpool, England in 1933 into a family of 7, Ray Evans was evacuated to the South Wales town of Llanelli at the outbreak of World War Two. He remained there until the cessation of hostilities in 1945. When he and his family were returned to Liverpool to re-build their family and their lives.

The book was released to the American market in August 2008 through Morgan James Publishing. In the process of writing the book, Ray came to realise more than ever before, how the importance of having a home had impacted his life during the evacuation and far beyond even to today. In partnership with MJP Ray has cemented his commitment to help raise funds and awareness for Habitat for Humanity International by donating a percentage of all book sales to the cause.
Ray on Facebook

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The old grey donkey, Eeyore stood by himself in a thistly corner of the Forest, his front feet well apart, his head on one side, and thought about things. Sometimes he thought sadly to himself, "Why?" and sometimes he thought, "Wherefore?" and sometimes he thought, "Inasmuch as which?" and sometimes he didn't quite know what he was thinking about.

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