Home Fires

Elizabeth Day

Home Fires

Max Weston, twenty-one and a newly commissioned lance corporal, leaves home for his first posting in central Africa. Fiercely patriotic and completely at home in the army, he is eager to make a difference. He never comes back.

His parents Caroline and Andrew are devastated by the death of their only child. The overwhelming love Caroline has always felt for her son is now matched by the intensity of her loss, and as she is borne away on a private ocean of grief the moorings of their marriage begin to come loose.

The silence is broken by the arrival of Andrew's mother, Elsa, who at the age of ninety-eight can no longer look after herself. Caroline has never felt good enough for this elegant, cuttingly courteous lady and has lived for years in fear of putting a foot wrong. Now, suddenly, Caroline has the upper hand.

As Elsa lies, marooned and disorientated, in the spare room, the past unspools in her mind, throwing up fragments of her anxious childhood in 1920s Richmond - under the shadow of her father, a soldier who came back from the Great War a different man. 4.0 out of 5 based on 1 reviews

Home Fires

Omniscore:

Classification Fiction
Genre General Fiction
Format Paperback
Pages 256
RRP
Date of Publication March 2013
ISBN 978-1408828670
Publisher Bloomsbury
 

Max Weston, twenty-one and a newly commissioned lance corporal, leaves home for his first posting in central Africa. Fiercely patriotic and completely at home in the army, he is eager to make a difference. He never comes back.

His parents Caroline and Andrew are devastated by the death of their only child. The overwhelming love Caroline has always felt for her son is now matched by the intensity of her loss, and as she is borne away on a private ocean of grief the moorings of their marriage begin to come loose.

The silence is broken by the arrival of Andrew's mother, Elsa, who at the age of ninety-eight can no longer look after herself. Caroline has never felt good enough for this elegant, cuttingly courteous lady and has lived for years in fear of putting a foot wrong. Now, suddenly, Caroline has the upper hand.

As Elsa lies, marooned and disorientated, in the spare room, the past unspools in her mind, throwing up fragments of her anxious childhood in 1920s Richmond - under the shadow of her father, a soldier who came back from the Great War a different man.

Reviews

The Observer

Viv Groskop

Day's great strength is her psychological insight. Her characters are ambiguous, difficult and often unpleasant. But they are all the more real for that. And while they may dislike one another, be unable to get on and do things that are hard to forgive in real life, in this fictional universe we identify with them and understand how things have come to this.

14/03/2013

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