Felicity: Love, War, and Peace by Piers R. Blackett and Annah Otis is a lovely memoir about the artist Felicity Blackett, her life, and her art. Born right before the first World War and living through World War Two as a grown woman with a new family, she experienced many hardships and losses, and yet she thrived with the help of her friends, family, and her art. She moved all around Europe at first before finally settling in South Africa, where she passed away in 2011, surrounded by friends, family, and a community that loved her.
This inspirational book also includes passages from Felicity’s own diary, which are her first-hand reflections on her circumstances and the world around her, making this memoir partly autobiographical, which immerses readers into Felicity’s world. Included in this touching book are photographs of Felicity, her family, and especially the art that she created during the period the book touches upon. This allows the reader to connect with this biography much more personally than just reading a dry description of a person’s life. Readers are shown how Felicity lived and the emotions she felt at the time, and they can also have a glimpse into what her mindset was at the moment.
This well-written book is dedicated to mothers and artists. The contents reflect this, as Felicity’s view of the world was heavily influenced by her role as a mother (like having to send her daughter away to America during the war as the enemy sunk ships of refugees), as well as her unique interpretation of the sights around her as an artist. I would, however, also recommend this book to anyone interested in a perhaps more different view of that period in history between the First World War and modern times. I highly recommend this historical account with beautiful illustrations.
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