Rationing and Victory Gardens During World War II: Background information when reading I'll Be Seeing You

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reading Guide |  Reviews |  Beyond the Book |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

I'll Be Seeing You

by Suzanne Hayes, Loretta Nyhan

I'll Be Seeing You by Suzanne Hayes, Loretta Nyhan
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

     Not Yet Rated
  • Paperback:
    May 2013, 336 pages

  • Rate this book


Book Reviewed by:
Sarah Tomp

Buy This Book

About this Book

Beyond the Book:
Rationing and Victory Gardens During World War II

Print Review

In the novel I'll Be Seeing You, Glory and Rita bond over their daily experiences trying to live a fulfilling life in the midst of wartime worry and hardship. The two women live far apart - one in Iowa, and the other in New England. In their letters to each other, they share tips for growing a decent Victory Garden as well as recipes that work with rationed supplies.

In 1942, the United States began nationwide rationing of items such as sugar, coffee, meat, cheese, tires, gasoline and even farm equipment. Some of these items were scarce because they'd previously been imported from countries now at war with the United States. Other items were needed to keep the soldiers and sailors well-equipped for their battles.

Ration books distributed to individuals and families dictated the quantities one could buy. The various items still needed to be paid for, but could not be purchased without the proper stamps. The goal was equity; in hopes that every family would be able to obtain their fair share of the coveted goods while being able to properly provide for the military members fighting overseas. Across the country, 8000 boards were created to implement and monitor these rations. Recycling of materials such as aluminum, iron, steel, tin, and paper encouraged everyone to contribute to the war effort in some way. The discomforts created served as a daily reminder that the country was at war. It created a strong sense of patriotism and unity between neighbors.

Victory Gardens Propaganda The government encouraged citizens to plant personal "Victory Gardens" on their own land or in planter boxes in order to support the war effort. These gardens supplemented ration allowances with homegrown produce, and because of transportation shortages, people ate locally grown vegetables. Swiss chard and kohlrabi were brought to the American dinner table since they were easy to grow. The program was a great success. The U.S. Department of Agriculture estimated that more than 20 million victory gardens were planted during the war. Fruit and vegetables harvested in these home and community plots was estimated to be 9-10 million tons - equal to the amount of commercial production at the time. This also meant more canned foods could be sent to feed the military.

I was quite tempted to try some of the recipes designed to work around limited amounts of sugar and butter and other ingredients. Here are some recipes included in the General Foods Corporation Cookbook created in 1943.

The video on this PBS website describes the rationing and recycling detail really well. The National World War II museum website has some great related pictures that are worth checking out.

Picture from Livinghistoryfarm.com

Article by Sarah Tomp

This article is from the July 24, 2013 issue of BookBrowse Recommends. Click here to go to this issue.

This article is available to non-members for a limited time. You can also read these articles for free. For full access become a member today.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Support BookBrowse

Become a Member and discover books that entertain, engage & enlighten!

Join Today!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: The Islamic Enlightenment
    The Islamic Enlightenment
    by Christopher de Bellaigue
    In this comprehensive and well-researched history, de Bellaigue examines the evolution of Islamic ...
  • Book Jacket: The Leavers
    The Leavers
    by Lisa Ko
    The day before Deming Guo saw his mother for the last time, she surprised him at school. A navy blue...
  • Book Jacket: Wonderful Feels Like This
    Wonderful Feels Like This
    by Sara Lovestam
    High school is hard; or perhaps, more accurately, growing up and finding oneself is hard. This is ...

Book Discussion
Book Jacket
The One-in-a-Million Boy by Monica Wood

A richly layered novel of hearts broken seemingly beyond repair and then bound by a stunning act of human devotion.

About the book
Join the discussion!

First Impressions

  • Book Jacket

    The Scribe of Siena
    by Melodie Winawer

    Equal parts transporting love story, meticulously researched historical fiction, and compelling time-travel narrative.
    Reader Reviews

Win this book!
Win The Chalk Pit

The Chalk Pit:
A Ruth Galloway Mystery

A string of murders takes Ruth underground in the newest book in the series.

Enter

Word Play

Solve this clue:

T W Don't M A R

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.

 
Modal popup -