Sunday 9 July 2017

Sunday WW1 Remembered...

I enjoy reading books set during WW1 which cover as wide a range as possible. 

In July I will share five of my favourites, some non fiction and some fiction

The Absolutist 

John Boyne

Black Swan

What's it all about...

September 1919: Twenty-year-old Tristan Sadler takes a train from London to Norwich to deliver a clutch of letters to Marian Bancroft. Tristan fought alongside Marian's brother Will during the Great War. They trained together. They fought together.

But in 1917, Will laid down his guns on the battlefield and declared himself a conscientious objector, an act which brought shame and dishonour on the Bancroft family.

The letters, however, are not the real reason for Tristan's visit. He holds a secret deep within him. One that he is desperate to unburden himself of to Marian, if he can only find the courage. Whatever happens, this meeting will change his life - forever.

Here are my thoughts, written when the book was first published in hardback in 2011...

From the start of The AbsolutistI was engrossed in Tristan and Will's story, and found myself really hurrying the pages to see what happened next.

The description of the time in the trenches is poignant, desperately sad, and hugely horrific, but never without tender philosophy.I loved both characters, and wanted everything to work out for them - but like all those who fought and died in the Great war, nothing would ever be the same again.

John Boyne is a master storyteller, who manages in a few short sentences to convey a complete world, and a time and place that really exists in your subconscious, with characters that come to life, and who live on in your memory, long after the last page is turned.

Beautifully narrated with a profound sadness which has stayed with me since I first met Tristan and Will. That's why I make no excuses for featuring again this excellent WW1 novel written by an author who is, always, at the top of my favourite historical novelists.

About the Author

John Boyne is an Irish novelist born in Dublin.  He has written ten novels for adults, five for children and a collection of short stories.



  1. Oh, this sounds wonderful! I thoroughly enjoyed the boy in the striped pyjamas, but haven't read any of his other books

    1. Do give it a try , Dawn. It's a real thought provoking story.


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