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Books

A woman's perspective on the Greatest Generation

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During World War II, Virgilia Short Witzel, a young mother and U.S. Navy officer’s wife, grappled on the home front in Menlo Park with wartime rationing, shortages and loneliness. During the ensuing Cold War, she experienced adventure and misadventure overseas. Living in opulence in China while surrounded by poverty, she was forced to evacuate in a rush as the Communists took over. Then in the early 1950s, she moved to London, enjoying celebrity-studded receptions, including tea at Buckingham Palace.

Virgilia, who settled in Los Altos Hills in 1959, left a collection of letters in the family’s Menlo Park home when she died at 95 in 2004. Her daughter, Palo Alto writer Christine Witzel, used the letters to chronicle the fascinating journeys of her mother in “She Also Served: Letters from a Navy Wife.”

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Local Author Spotlight

In an effort to support authors from Los Altos, Los Altos Hills and Mountain View, many self-published, Book Buzz periodically spotlights their books and offers information on where to purchase them. Local authors are encouraged to submit brief summaries of their books, a sentence or two about themselves and details on where the books may be purchased. Email information to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

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