Summary

In the brief golden years of King Edward VII's reign, Rosie McCosh and her three very different sisters are growing up in an eccentric household in Kent, with their neighbours the Pitt boys on one side and the Pendennis boys on the other. But their days of childhood adventure are shadowed by the approach of war that will engulf them on the cusp of adulthood.
When the boys end up scattered along the Western Front, Rosie faces the challenges of life for those left behind. Confused by her love for two young men - one an infantry soldier and one a flying ace - she has to navigate her way through extraordinary times. Can she and her sisters build new lives out of the opportunities and devastations that follow the Great War?
Louis de Bernières' magnificent and moving novel follows the lives of an unforgettable cast of characters as they strike out to seek what happiness can be built from the ruins of the old world.
©2015 Random House Audiobooks (P)2015 Random House Audiobooks
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
4 out of 5 stars
By Wras on 29-07-15

Edwardian England painted in a romantic canvas

The first of a planned trilogy of novels, Starts with the death of Queen Victoria and the start of the reign of the King Edward. We meet the characters of this story at a coronation party in the garden of Mr and Mrs Hamilton McCosh of Eltham and their four daughters, Rosie, Christabel, Ottilie and Sophie. The American Pendennis boys, Sidney, Albert and Ashbridge, the Pitts, Daniel and Archie, others will join the story but here is the backbone, we see them grow, love, go to war, suffer and rejoice in life. this is a family saga of epic scale. all the character are likable people that confront life the best they can, there is no twisted evil characters the war and empire produce enough sorrow to compensate in that department.
The stories seem and feel like personal anecdotes of Bernières family, and he has confirmed this. some of the events are described by the author, others through diaries and the characters themselves. This works like a good conversation, we see small details like families worrying about the rain or cold when they know their boys are in trenches, the guilt of not being there with them; of forgetting a prayer.
This is the story of a good family in a terrible period, the plot is the events in their lives and their struggles to live good lives, a simple and beautiful desires that is hard to attain. My only negative is that at times the romantic sweetness is too much :but that probably is because I am a little jaded.

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34 of 36 people found this review helpful

2 out of 5 stars
By Amazon Customer on 16-06-16

Long winded and unconvincing

I absolutely love every Louis de Bernieres book, but am left disappointed by this one. The narrative is too long winded. You never feel any empathy for the characters despite their experiences during a tragic period of history. Through sheer loyalty to the author and a misguided belief that surely an anthropological message will come through were the only reasons I pursued till the end. I don't believe an unknown author would have got this published.

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17 of 18 people found this review helpful

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