Saturday, 8 October 2011

Bragg, Melvyn "The Soldier's Return"

Bragg, Melvyn "The Soldier's Return" - 1999

This is the story of an ex-corporal returning home from Burma in the spring of 1946. His wife is anxiously awaiting his return and his son who was a baby when he left and is now six years old cannot really remember him. Sam has changed a lot and it is hard to readjust back to normal family life. A good narrative about the change in people when one person has been away for a while. The trouble is, the family has moved on, the husband has moved on, but they haven't necessarily moved into the same direction. The author has managed to describe this dilemma very well.

Very interesting story, great description of the characters and the troubles they face. Even though this happened more than half a century ago, this is a timeless account of people's characters. There is a sequel to this novel "A Son of War".

From the back cover:
"When Sam Richardson returns in 1946 from the 'Forgotten War' in Burma to his hometown in northern England, he finds little changed. The war has changed him, however, broadening his horizons but also leaving him deeply scarred with traumatic, often hellish, memories. In addition, his six-year-old son Joe barely remembers him, and his wife has gained a new sense of independence from her wartime job. As all three strive to adjust, the bonds of love and loyalty are stretched to the breaking point in this taut and profoundly moving novel that captures what millions of families experienced in the aftermath of World War II."

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