Fusty, musty, dusty

1 07 2017

The Dust that Falls from Dreams by Louis de Bernieres


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?

There are some brilliant passages and some outstanding characters. There is some really evocative wartime recreation, emotional highs and lows but really could have done with a strong editorial hand. Just a bit flabby and overlong but nevertheless worth a read.

No, no, Notwithstanding

5 01 2011

Notwithstanding by Louis de Bernieres

According to Amazon this is “A funny and heartbreaking new book from one of Britain’s favourite and bestselling writers.”

And it quotes some other reviews:

`Bernieres paints an affectionate picture of village life’ — Daily Express

`not just very funny, but makes you oddly proud to be British’ — Sunday Telegraph

I can’t recommend this book warmly enough. — The Lady, Book Reviews, Susan Hill

Now, if these aren’t enough to make you run a mile then let me put it a different way: avoid; don’t bother; set aside; give away if received as gift.

It really has nothing to recommend it. One mildly poignant passage is all I got from it. And could not bring self to complete.

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