At the centre of Louisa Young's Great War weepy is Riley Purefoy, a working-class lad taken in by a wealthy bohemian household. He strikes up a romance with Nadine, the family's pretty daughter, before history comes between them.
While serving in the Army, Riley is horrifically disfigured by a German shell and, stricken with self-loathing, resolves never to see his beloved again.
The descriptions of the horrors of the trenches here ring true, but the scenes set back in Britain are quite excruciating: Young gives us a green and pleasant land of beneficent toffs and appreciative proles. It comes as no surprise to learn that Downton Abbey's Dan Stevens has been chosen to narrate the audiobook version.Reuse content