Book - 2015
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Paul Tarrant, Elinor Brooke and Kit Neville first met in 1914 at the Slade School of Art, before their generation lost hope, faith and much else besides on the battlefields of Ypres and the Somme. Now it is 1940, they are middle-aged, and another war has begun. London is a haunted city. Some have even turned to seances in an attempt to contact lost loved ones. As the bombs fall and Elinor and the others struggle to survive, old temptations and obsessions return, and all of them are forced to make choices about what they really want...
Publisher: London, Hamish Hamilton, an imprint of Penguin Books,, 2015.
ISBN: 9780241146071
Characteristics: 258 pages ; 24 cm.


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Jul 07, 2016

Setting a personal love story amidst the chaos of the World War II London Blitz and making it believable shows the skill of Barker as an author. The dust, the grit, the fires, the fear are all there but so are the emotions and loves of a husband and wife who along with a good artist friend live in London during the Blitz. If nothing else, you finish the book with a sense of the tenacity of the British during the war, incorporating the fire bombings into their lives yet understand the words “Keep calm and carry on.” Personal tragedies and triumphs rise amidst the smoke and fire.

Apr 17, 2016

It's 1940 and London is burning. The three protagonists of Barker’s 'Life Class' trilogy, Elinor, Paul and Kit, find themselves supporting the war effort on the Home Front as ambulance drivers and air raid warden. But, painting is still part of their lives, as the Ministry of Information commissioned artwork of the war’s alteration of people’s lives.
The tamped down emotions and living from day to day existence of a country that fully expected a German invasion is vividly portrayed as the three go about their nightly rendezvous with death. Baker’s writing is atmospheric and the situations she has each encounter poignant. Who of their generation expected another war? Highly anticipated by me as I loved 'Life Class' and 'Toby’s Room,' the other two books in this trilogy. Recommend this one, too. Thanks, Pat Barker.

Mar 25, 2016

This book concludes the trilogy of the three young artists we first met at the Slade School of Art just before WW I. It is now London during the Blitz and the artists are now middle-aged. The only jarring element in the novel is the character of the medium. Overall, the atmosphere of London during WW II is wonderfully evoked and despite tragedy, the book ends on a hopeful note.

Oct 23, 2015

Pat Barker's descriptions of The Blitz are masterly. The reader can feel the heat and smell the smells of London in the Autumn of 1940. This book is the third of the trilogy, which began with Life Class and Toby's Room. It would have been more difficult to read as a stand alone novel. The established scenarios and interactions between the main characters are important background. In consequence there can be no assurances of a happy outcome in this story. They are now middle-aged , dealing with the changes and losses of middle age and plunged into another War. This time it is at home rather than at a distance in the trenches and on the battlefields in Flanders and France in WWI. There is an immediacy about the results of the bombing in London.. I particularly liked the sub plot about Kenny, the little evacuee sent to the country. He would literally say and do anything to get back with his family who don't particularly want him with them. This year marks the 75th anniversary of those events.Noonday's publication is timely.

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