Pat Barker captures the devastating effects of the First World War on those in the front lines. Her vivid and insightful descriptions of the suffering..Show More » of the survivors and, in this volume, doctors in a military hospital treating their psychological scars, are deeply moving. The device of including real historical figures such as Siegfried Sassoon, Dr. William Rivers and Wilfrid Owen heightens the realism. The articulate internal and external debates about the morality of fighting a disastrous war with no clearly defined ultimate goal or competent strategy makes the story oh, so relevant to contemporary readers.
In this volume, the characters introduced in Regeneration move on. Sassoon is sent back to the front; the doctor joins a colleague in London; Billy P..Show More »ryor joins the intelligence force. Most of this novel takes place not on the battelfield but back in the UK. Barker's intention was likely to show the war's effect on the common citizen. I enjoyed this but still think the first book in the series is the best.
I loved the first in this series. The second in the series left a lot to be desired. The third and final, having been raved about and won awards, wa..Show More »s highly anticipated. Sadly a disappointment.
The book feels like a number of random remembrances by the central characters. They join up now and then, but basically their lives and stories are independent. The story line, and the characters, seem to lack emotion and substance, ambling from one scene to the next.