Priscilla

The camp’s only full-length mirror was at the entrance, for the German guards to dress properly when they walked into town. On the whole, it was just as well that Priscilla could not see herself.

Her gums turned black from the diet. She lost 30 pounds and stopped menstruating. Her grim face, thin and dirt-streaked, was covered in blue marks from her bedsack and bug-bites. Until the arrival of Red Cross parcels, she had no access to proper soap, make-up or shampoo. Other women’s heads became piebald as they dyed hair faded. Priscilla’s thick blonde curls falling uncombed over her collar were the chief indication of her sex and youth. A young inmate wrote:’ Jokes were made as often as possible, but in repose these faces with mostly stamped with a melancholy that I shall never forget.’ Dressed in the scratchy blue capot of a dead soldier, with a pair of old underpants around her neck as a scarf, and her shoes slopping around inside overlarge boots, Priscilla resembled no one more closely than Robert when he was a POW.

Priscilla The Hidden Life of an Englishwoman in Wartime France by Nicholas Shakespeare

priscilla

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2 thoughts on “Priscilla

  1. It was an excellent read, Kathy. Now I have begun reading Under The Wide and Starry Sky by Nancy Horan and it also promises to be a good read. Horan wrote Loving Frank (about Frank Lloyd Wright and I loved that book!).

    So many books . . .

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