BOARDINGHOUSE STEW by E. E. Smith is different from her
other two novels I
read, but it is just as captivating. This is more of a
story about her childhood and
growing up in 1943 during World War II. Though the names
she used were
fictional the storyline is based on facts. What an awesome
job she did with
describing the emotions of a little girl who is eleven
working as a maid in a
boardinghouse during World War II with its uncertainties.
It's the other side you
do not hear about set in Sacramento, California, from a
German girl who has
fears that like the Japanese; she too will be carried off
to a camp because she is
In the beginning E.E. Smith gives background information
for her novel that
helped set the tone for what you are about to read. I
found this to be helpful. In
her writing she describes the boardinghouse, the people
who lived in it, and the
woman, Mrs. Mumson who ran it. Eileen (E. E. Smith) will
turn out to be one of
the most important people there as she connects with each
person in some
personal way. She cooks, cleans, and quietly listens from
the kitchen to all that
goes on. Back then, she was not completely honest with her
age and no one
questioned the child labor.
BOARDINGHOUSE STEW is an easy book to read and understand.
character brought his or her uncertainties to the story,
from the Doc who secretly
likes one of the female houseguests, as they were called,
to Eileen herself with
the crush on the mysterious Teddy. It is refreshing to
read a different type of
story concerning the war from a different point of view.
by E. E. Smith is one that I would recommend for anyone
who loves to read
stories about World War II.
BOARDINGHOUSE STEW is set in a seedy, down-at-heel
boardinghouse in Sacramento, California in 1943. Due to an
acute labor shortage caused by the evacuation of all
Japanese from the area, as well as many domestic workers
preferring war work to house work, the proprietress is
forced to hire a young schoolgirl named Eileen as maid and
cook for the summer. Through one crisis after another --
some more comic than tragic -- the people who live in the
house manage to pull together and become a kind of family.
In the center of it all is Eileen, narrating their stories
which she is able to observe from her unique vantage point
behind the swinging kitchen door that never quite closes
on its rusty hinges.