Our competitions are open only to UK Followers
To win one of five copies of Sheena Wilkinson's Name upon Name, answer the following question in the Comments below:
"Which book set in WW1 has the most resonance for you, and why?"
Please send a copy of your answer to:
so that I know how to contact you to let you know if you are a winner.
Closing date, to allow for holidays, is 14th September
What an interesting (but difficult) challenge. I was an impressionable young teenager when Worl War One was having its 50 year commemorations and I was totally blown away by the war poetry and Robert Graves Goodbye to all that and was left with a lasting interest in the period. I have read and been moved by Pat Barker's regeneration trilogy; Sebastian Faulks Birdsong conveyed the suffocation of being a Sapper ; Michael Morpurgo's Private Peaceful with its focus on a different aspect of the war (or War Horse, come to that). Grassic Gibbons Sunset Song was read at the same impressionable age as the poetry. But I am going to go for Theresa Breslin's Remembrance because of its focus on characters who were around my age when I was finding out about the war and from a background with which I could identify
I fell deeply in love with Doctor Zhivago as a small child, the whole surrounding was romantic and deeply different to a small girl in deepest darkest Devon! I used to take the characters in my stories and live with them but found I knew too little so this was one of my first ever research projects, why did they fight, what else was happening? I found out that my own family had folk lost in the first war and that it was not very far or distant to me than I thought. My world became the mix of Russian and war time, and the theme and images still takes me back to that winter when I dreamed in the late 19 teens! I know that isn't strictly in the first world war only but for me it taught context and background and how nothing is just a single start point but comes from history.
Mine would have to be War Horse. It's such a beautiful story that not only shows what humans went through but also what animals went through during the war. Two of the things I loved about this book is the bond between horse and boy and also that the book it told from the horses point of view which I think is such a good take and by this happening it allows for another prespective to be expressed throughout the story.
I think All Quiet On The Western Front - first, because it was written by someone who was there, and second, because that person was a German. It shows that the experience for soldiers on both sides was equally horrendous.
For me, it has to be 'Private Peaceful' by Michael Morpurgo. Wars are vast, complicated things, to be fully understood only in hindsight. But this book leaves aside dates and political movements and territories, and focuses instead on the minutes of a single night, on the feelings and memories of a single young man, and on the impossibility of bringing together the world of home and the horror of the trenches. It's simple, moving and utterly real.
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