After Joan Wehlen Morrison died, her daughter found her many diaries chronicling Joan’s teen years (ages 14-20) as they led up to and included the beginning of the World War II era. The diary entries provide a peek at the life of a typical teenager with the usual struggles of juggling school, family, and maintaining a social life, while worrying about what the future might hold. Susan Morrison has sorted through her mother’s diary entries, edited them, and added notes where needed for clarity, to provide a perspective on an American girl’s life pre-World War II.
Home Front Girl is a fascinating look at life in the late 1930’s and early 40’s. Entries often have references to news items, such as the crash of the Hindenburg and the crowning of England’s George VI as king. Readers will find that teenagers of today are not so different from those of the 30’s – they struggle with getting to class on time, sometimes blow off their grades, and find that being pursued by boys is often more fun than actually dating them. Joan’s voice is poetic, introspective, and often humorous. However, the looming war weighs heavy on Joan’s mind as seen throughout the various entries and lends a melancholy and sometimes morbid tone to her writing. This title is a wonderful primary source for students studying U.S. History.