This is not as grim as it first appears. It really was entertaining reading: Henrietta is a woman of a certain age who is afraid of loud bangs as well as numerous other things. Still, she is keeping her spirits up and the village is full of other quirky characters also trying to make do as best they can. Henrietta's husband is the local doctor so she has a certain status, and her focus is very much on the middle class villagers who try to survive the presence of uncouth evacuated Londoners as well as the threat of German invasion. Food shortages, worry about those overseas, the daily adjustments of life during wartime, all appear but in a very gentle kind of way. They are illustrated with little sketches of the characters, and there are the usual suspects to be found -- the aristocratic widow, the blustery ex-Admiral, the local doctor of course, Henrietta's flighty single friend Faith, evacuees of an artistic sort, and the women of the local Institute.
It's a rather sweet and charming tale, with timely comments on the war (the letters were contemporaneous with the war) and a strong sense of the way civilians kept their spirits up not knowing what was going on with those they loved, who were out in the thick of things. It was a light read, but had some moments of pathos as well.
If you like epistolary fiction or war fiction you will love this one, I think. Amusing illustrations add to the enjoyment.
Elaine at Random Jottings shares some of the lovely images from this story
Simon at Stuck in a Book provides comparison to Diary of a Provincial Lady
Nan at Letters from a Hill Farm points out some amusing quotes
Cornflower gives us hope for a second volume of Henrietta
Thomas of My Porch talks about Henrietta in the context of epistolary fiction