Queenie’s life changes as her mother abandons her.
Apparently, Agnes told her she was going on holiday for a few days. When ten days have passed and the landlord came to the house for the rent twice, Queenie started to get nervous. So she decides to call on Laura as she has no money or food left. Laura is outraged when the child tells her, and when she inspects the flat, she knows the woman has left for good. From that moment Queenie is looked after by Laura and Vera. Actually, at first Vera thinks she could stay with her as one more mouth won’t make much of a difference. Queenie is also confused as the two little girls, Hester and Mary, fight for her affection, which is something new to her as her mother has always treated her hideously.
As war is about to break out, things change. Roddy volunteers to join the army, which upsets Laura terribly. On Sunday before he has to go, Roddy and Laura get married in the registry office. I thought they were already married, but I imagine that since they were underage, they needed their parents’ permission. Now since he belongs to the army, he has a special licence, and Laura finally becomes Mrs Oliver legally. One of Vera’s son, Billy, has also been called out. So that Monday Vera and Laura and their families see their men go, not knowing when they will see them again.
The city is getting ready for the war and possible bombs. Before going, Roddy insisted on Laura and Hester to be evacuated, something which Laura is against. Yet, she thinks she needs to think of her little girl. Vera always wants to make sure her girl is safe, so she wants to send her away. Then the two women come up with an idea. They will send Queenie with the two children, so that Laura can stay and do her bit for the war effort. I find the whole idea shocking. Queenie is just fourteen, and looking after two cocky five-year-olds is not a piece of cake. They are going to Wales, and I imagine they will be staying under the supervision of some adults. Queenie is not too happy as she wanted to stay with Laura, who she has grown very fond of. Both Laura and Vera told her that it will just for a few months since the war is supposed to end soon, but we know that it will be six years until the war finishes. I wonder how this arrangement will pan out. The two little girls are far from being easy. They have become inseparable, but they are also arguing all the time. Apparently, Mary is the more difficult child, as I imagine she has been spoilt by her brothers and parents, so she is not used to being said no. Hester is more malleable but when she is with Mary, her temper shows. I wonder how things will work out for these two children and Queenie. When will they see their families again? Maybe Vera and Laura will visit them as the war turns longer than they thought.