This is a masterful novel about a shell-shocked, amnesiac soldier returning from WWI to the three women who love him.
Set during World War I on an isolated country estate just outside London, Rebecca West’s haunting novel The Return of the Soldier follows Chris Baldry, a shell-shocked captain suffering from amnesia, as he makes a bittersweet homecoming to the three women who have helped shape his life. Will the devoted wife he can no longer recollect, the favorite cousin he remembers only as a childhood friend, and the poor innkeeper’s daughter he once courted leave Chris to languish in a safe, dreamy past—or will they help him recover his memory so that he can return to the front? The answer is revealed through a heartwrenching, unexpected sacrifice.
Dame Rebecca West, DBE (1892 – 1983) was an author, journalist, literary critic and travel writer. A prolific author in many genres, West was committed to feminist and liberal principles and was one of the foremost public intellectuals of the twentieth century. She met H.G. Wells in 1913, after her provocatively damning review of his novel Marriage prompted him to invite her to lunch. They fell in love, though Wells was married at the time, and their affair lasted ten years producing a son.
In 1947 Time magazine called West, ‘indisputably the world’s number one woman writer’ and in 1954 Kenneth Tynan described her as, ‘the best journalist alive’. She was made CBE in 1949, in recognition of her outstanding contribution to British letters.
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