Wow, what an emotional read!
Buried Tears is based on the true story of a family from Goldenhill, Stoke-on-Trent. Vivien Jones’ own family. This is her Father’s story and it is certainly one that I won’t forget for a long time to come.
Vivien tells us of time when the lives of her family changed forever following a devastating turn of events one day in 1941. It is such a beautifully written story, full of raw emotion. My heart went out to her Father, Wilf, who carried such a heavy burden of guilt for most of his life. He was only 11 years old in 1941.
As was typical in working class families at the time, Wilf was responsible for keeping an eye on his younger siblings as he was the oldest child. I know there will be some children with similar responsibilities today, but I don’t think it’s as commonplace now. Children are grown up before their time for very different reasons these days.
Vivien’s Grandparents, Nell and Bill, reminded me so much of my Nana and Grandad Bowen. My Grandad was also called Bill (William, or Willy as Nan often called him) and was a broad shouldered, 6ft tall, man. My Nan was 4ft 9 (and a fag end as she would say!) but very much the matriarch. She could be very hard and seemingly unemotional although the opposite was probably true. She lost two sons in her lifetime, one only 21 years old (my Uncle Alan) before I was born.
I love how Vivien writes the dialogue of these ‘characters’ in proper potteries dialect. This really brought them to life for me. Readers not familiar with potteries dialect might find it a bit odd, but as a local I could hear them clear as anything in my mind and this often brought a smile to my face. Don’t let this put you off if you aren’t familiar with our local dialect. I’m sure you will be as thoroughly fascinated by this story as I was. There is many an amusing moment throughout this book, despite it being such a difficult time for families to have to live through. No-one had much to speak of. Times were hard and money was extremely tight but, if nothing else, families always had each other, and communities stuck together when it mattered the most. I think this is true of a lot of people in Stoke-on-Trent still to this day.
My heart broke for Vivien as we learn of the time her father reveals the truth of his very difficult childhood and how his devastating loss impacted the whole of his life. I’m not surprised he was fiercely protective and thankful for his family and cherished every day he had with them.
There is a strong message to us all in this story. We never know how long we have people for in this life, so we must always cherish the time we have with each other. We also must always allow ourselves to grieve for those we lose and understand that guilt is a debilitating emotion which very few of us deserve to suffer. It is also a natural human reaction to such circumstances and I totally understood Wilf’s perspective.
I am glad he found peace in the end.
This story is so beautifully written. I found it completely captivating.
I am so thankful I met Vivien at the Newcastle-under-Lyme Literary Day otherwise I may never have had the pleasure of reading this heartfelt story.
I urge you all to buy a copy of this unforgettable book…..
About the author
Vivien grew up in a small terraced house in the village of Goldenhill, Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire, England with her three brothers and two sisters. She married in 1971 and has one daughter, a son-in-law and a grandson.
After leaving Summerbank Secondary Modern Girls’ School at fifteen years of age Vivien continued to study part-time and finally graduated as a mature student from Manchester Metropolitan University with a BA (Hons) degree in Professional Studies in Education. She worked for many years as a Lecturer in Medical Administration at Stoke-on-Trent College.
happy reading 🙂