Thursday, 5 May 2011

New WWI novels. . .

George at Great War Fiction has this review of a new novel called Bleakly Hall by Elaine Di Rollo which sounds right up my alley. It's the story of two women who met during the war while working as a nurse and ambulance driver respectively, and have now come to work at Bleakly Hall, a military hospital for the shellshocked that uses hydropathic treatments. It's interesting to note that the author is an academic teaching in the actual building that used to be Craiglockhart Hospital (familiar to fans of Pat Barker's Regeneration trilogy). As George states in his review, he's usually sceptical about contemporary fiction set during the Great War, but in this novel, "the period detail is accurate, the investigation into what war does to people is acute, and the psychology, even of the most outrageous characters, is believable." I look forward to reading it.

I also have a copy on the to-be-read pile of Louisa Young's My Dear I Wanted To Tell You - also a fictional look at WWI, but more of a romantic saga. And Jacqueline Winspear's latest Maisie Dobbs mystery, A Lesson in Secrets, is beckoning. In this one, Maisie heads off to Cambridge working undercover for the British Secret Service.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

For an unusual take on WWI, check out "Transfer Day", the story of an orphaned girl in the Danish West Indies who stumbles upon a mysterious stranger who washes ashore, who she later finds out is a deserter from a German U-boat.

Shows life in a floudering Danish Caribbean sugar colony during the Great War and how the Kaiser's spy network is operating out in the open until the Americans take over the islands in 1917.