Told in a combination of first and third person, this tale of love, loss and hope plunges the reader into a chaotic and heart-wrenching period. From its opening on Vancouver Island to its closing on the battlefield of Ypres, it takes the reader along with Marden through richly detailed prose, powerful imagery and a rivetting narrative.
Marden himself is a highly sympathetic protagonist. We want him to find Elaine. Even more, we want him to find some kind of peace. Losing his wife and son in such quick succession has cast him adrift and in his search for Elaine we sense a quiet desperation for some return to normalcy, once he has seen where his son died and met the woman who carries his grandchild. The secondary characters are many and while few of them occupy more than a few paragraphs or a few pages each, they all come alive and serve a purpose, especially the battle-scarred veterans who refuse to leave the trenches in which they'd fought for so long. Very highly recommended.
© Teresa Eckford, 2004
This review first appeared in the November 2004 issue of The Historical Novels Review