At the end of July, members from our South Side Quills writer’s group in Bunbury, met Liz Byrski at Barefoot Books, the delightful bookshop in Fig Tree Lane in Busselton where everyone in “book heaven” enjoyed a soiree of gourmet delights and a glass of wine or two.
Byrski, best selling author of numerous works including eight novels, has recently released her latest masterpiece in Love and War. Part memoir and part social history the latest work, as with all of Byrski’s books is a great read.
Liz spoke about her work and what inspired her to write her latest book.
To write the book, Byrski returned to her home town of East Grinstead in Sussex to research nursing heroes and badly burnt airmen who were treated by ground breaking plastic surgeon Sir Archibald McIndoe who revolutionised the treatment of severe disfigurement caused by burns.
Central to McIndoe’s rehabilitation method was the involvement of the whole village of East Grinstead in accepting and supporting the airmen as they recovered.. The men called themselves McIndoe’s ‘Guinea Pigs’ in what became the world’s first therapeutic village.
He also hired nurses who were not only capable, but also beautiful and prepared to flirt (and more) with the patients.
As a child Liz was terrified of the airmen she called ‘the men with the terrible faces’. She went back to the village to understand their stories and those of the women who nursed them in such unconventional circumstances.
I love Byrski’s books – they are so well written and easy to read