Recommended if you like Louis de Bernieres' style, and notable for the way that the grief that must have hung over many people during WW 1 and its aftermath influences the characters on so many levels as they move into the post-WW 1 era. De Bernieres is good at giving unique voices to the different characters.
Disappointing given Louis De Bernières previous profound and complex stories. English aristocrats living through war and peace - quite a snoozer.
The novel begins at the death of Queen Victoria and follows the lives of members of three families through WW1 and into the 1920's. I thought the descriptions of different aeroplanes, their characteristics, handling ability etc. was repetitive and I skimmed those sections. Likewise the repetitive descriptions of the horrors the men and women endured during the war could have been shortened. The lives, loves and tragedies of the individual characters were well written.
Thoroughly enjoyed. Very talented writer. I like how he can enter the personality of the different characters, as the narratives shifts point of view throughout the novel. Effective technique.
Didn't read, fearful of unfavorable comparison with "Corelli's Mandolin."
The best part of the book concerns the derivation and meaning of the title. Otherwise, it suffers in comparison with other books by this author, particularly Corelli's Mandolin and Birds Without Wings.
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