Archive for January, 2016

The Dust That Falls From Dreams

Thursday, January 21st, 2016

51XP0oGfpdL._SL75_By Louis de Bernieres

The Short Take:

This rich and absorbing novel thoughtfully captured how World War I changed England completely. Close childhood friends from three neighboring upper-class families meet different fates, but all are irrevocably altered.

Why?

There is no dearth of novels structured around one of the great wars, tracing family calamities and triumphs. What sets this one apart is not only the excellent writing and an exceptional feel for the period, but the fact that it focuses less on parent-child relationships and more on friendships formed in childhood and their deep bonds.

If you have read the author’s Corelli’s Mandolin (and you should) you know the emotion and depth he brings to his writing. While the characters here are far different, the emotion is in full force as people struggle to find hope and purpose when surrounded by loss.

By the way, do not read the inside front flap of this book: like so many of those summaries, it gives away far too much of the story. Unlike what I offer below.

A Little Plot:

The children of three neighboring and prosperous families enjoy an idyllic childhood as “the pals” during the Edwardian era. Then WWI intervenes. The boys go to battle and the girls not only worry but find ways to help. No one is unscarred.

For more about the author, you can visit his website by clicking here. I apologize for leaving out the grave mark on the second “e” in his last name. After multiple attempts, I simply gave up.

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