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The Return of the Soldier
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A shell-shocked officer returns from the chaos of World War I to the tranquility of his stately English home leaving his memory of the preceding 15 years amid the muddy trenches at the front lines. Anxiously awaiting the soldier's return are the three women who love him best: the perceptive cousin who narrates his story, the beautiful wife he fails to recognize, and the tender first love of his youth.This remarkable war novel, Rebecca West's first work of fiction, depicts neither battles nor battlefields. Originally published in 1918, it takes a searching look at the far-reaching effects of the first modern war on a sheltered society. "The Return of the Soldier" effectively and memorably captures the spirit of the times with astute observations of England in the throes of unwelcome change.West's penetrating view of the shifting nature of English class structures at the beginning of the twentieth century makes this novel of historic note. Her sensitive portrayal of people torn between nostalgia for their irretrievable past and acceptance of their conflicted present keeps this tale enduringly relevant."
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