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From the acclaimed author of Corelli's Mandolin: a powerfully evocative and emotional novel, set in the years between the two world wars, about a closely-knit group of British men and women struggling to cope with the world--and the selves--left to them in the wake of World War I.

They were inseparable childhood friends. Some were lost to the war. The others' lives were unimaginably upended, and now, post-war, they've scattered: to Ceylon and India, France and Germany (and, inevitably, back to Britain) --each of them trying to answer the question that fuels this sweeping novel: "If you have been embroiled in a war... what were you supposed to do with so much life unexpectedly left over?" As the narrative unfolds in brief, dramatic chapters we follow the old friends as their paths re-cross or their ties fray, as they test loyalties and love, face survivor's grief and guilt, adjust in profound and quotidian ways to this newest modern world. And at their center: Daniel (an RAF flying ace) and Rosie (a war-time nurse) --their marriage slowly revealed to be built on lies, Daniel finding solace--and, sometimes, family--with other women, Rosie drawing her religion around herself like a carapace. Here too are Rosie's sisters--a "bohemian," a minister's wife, and a spinster; Daniel's despairing brother; Rosie's "increasingly peculiar" mother, and her genial, secretive father. And as peace once more gives way to war, we see it begin to reshape, yet again, the lives of these beautifully drawn women and men.



About the Author

Louis De Bernieres

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