"In this prequel to Mila and Mervusya: A Russian Wedding, Mervyn Matthews describes his remarkable childhood in Wales in the late 1930s, '40s and early '50s. To escape the bombing during the Swansea blitz during World War II, Matthews went to live with his grandmother in the working-class Hafod district. He was evacuated to west Wales to escape further bombing and spent a long period hospitalized. In addition to suffering the discomforts of war and ill health, Matthews was also the focus of his parents' unhappy separation. Set against the backdrop of bombed-out Swansea, the natural beauty of the Gower peninsula, and the austerity of postwar Britain, with a homely cast of friends, teachers, neighbors, and a large family, this is a story by turns comic and poignant, though always true to the life of the times. It is a classic account of a young boy growing up in difficult circumstances."