Your cart is empty
John Hilliard, a young subaltern returning to the Western Front after a brief period of sick leave back in England blind to the horrors of the trenches, finds his battalion tragically altered. His commanding officer finds escape in alcohol, there is a new adjutant and even Hilliard's batman has been killed. But there is
David Barton, as yet untouched and unsullied by war, radiating charm and common sense, forever writing long letters to his family. Theirs is a strange meeting and a strange relationship: the coming together of opposites in the summer lull before the inevitable storm.
Penguin paperback 7.99 Isbn 978 0 14 003695 4
UK website price 6.00 Signed and post free
‘The feeling of men under appalling stress at a particular moment in history is communicated with almost uncanny power.‘
‘A truly astonishing achievement.’
"Susan Hill shows us what it means to people to be intimate friends, to share feelings and to be happy in each other's company. Under normal circumstances this friendship might never have developed to such an extent. In this war it could.The nightmare world of the front line trenches is depicted so vividly, that we realize that this war was not only terrible, but also senseless; it only led to enormous loss of lives.A wonderful story - sad and moving.’’
‘’It is one of the most beautiful and haunting books I have ever read - I first came across it at school, and have never forgotten it."
My great uncle Sidney was killed on his 18th birthday at the Battle of the Somme and his photograph in uniform was on the dresser in my grandmother’s house so as a young child I always asked about him. The Great War began to haunt me from then and my interest became an obsession after I heard Benjamin Britten’s War Requiem in Coventry Cathedral. I knew I would have to write a novel about it but first I read everything I could – memoirs, biographies, history, letters. I wrote the novel in 6 weeks, at home in Warwickshire, and in my rented house in Aldeburgh, where I tramped across the marshes in the rain and mud and saw the ghosts of dead soldiers rising up in front of me.
But having finished it, my interest in the First World War was exorcised and it has never returned.