The Return of the Soldier

by Rebecca West | Literature & Fiction |
ISBN: 1844086984 Global Overview for this book
Registered by winggreenbadgerwing of St Albans, Hertfordshire United Kingdom on 1/7/2019
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4 journalers for this copy...
Journal Entry 1 by winggreenbadgerwing from St Albans, Hertfordshire United Kingdom on Monday, January 7, 2019
A fascinating story first published in 1918 about a soldier who shell shock has caused to forget the last 15 years of his life. He has no memory of his ostensibly perfect life and has gone back to when he was in love with a woman not of his class. However it soon becomes clear that Chris's life is not as wonderful as it appears; he has to work hard to support his wealthy lifestyle and his beautiful wife Kitty is shallow, and as Jenny (the narator, Chris's cousin) gets to know the coarse Margaret she finds her to be not as she expects.

The book highlights a moral dilemma - is it better to live forever in a place where one is happy or should one always face up to the truth? As Margaret says: "You can't cure him. Make him happy, I mean. All you can do is make him ordinary."

An excellent read, recommended.

Journal Entry 2 by winggreenbadgerwing at St Albans, Hertfordshire United Kingdom on Monday, January 7, 2019

Released 3 yrs ago (1/7/2019 UTC) at St Albans, Hertfordshire United Kingdom

CONTROLLED RELEASE NOTES:

Sent to 4evagreen as a UK wishlist tag.

Journal Entry 3 by 4evagreen at Furness Vale, Derbyshire United Kingdom on Wednesday, January 9, 2019
Book arrived safely. Thanks for sharing. I look forward to reading it.

Journal Entry 4 by 4evagreen at Furness Vale, Derbyshire United Kingdom on Friday, June 28, 2019
In this book the author tries to encapsulate many aspects of the day, the war, shell shock, women left at home and class differences to name a few, but I also felt that it wasn't without its faults. Despite its brevity some of the descriptions I found overly long with some paragraphs lasting a page or more, the fact that the story was told in the first person, from Jenny's point of view, meant that the other characters lacked a certain depth. This was particularly true of Chris who barely features. In particular I would have liked to have learnt a little more about him before the war began and after his father's death. Sometimes this made me feel that I had to put too much effort into reading between the lines. I also felt that the ending, with today's knowledge of mental illness, a little abrupt, simplistic and not terribly believable. In short I would have been happier if the book was longer (not something I often say).

However, that said and done given that this was written when the author was at such a tender age and that this was her first published novel it is a remarkable piece of work and deserves to be more widely read.

Journal Entry 5 by 4evagreen at Buxton, Derbyshire United Kingdom on Tuesday, July 2, 2019

Released 2 yrs ago (7/2/2019 UTC) at Buxton, Derbyshire United Kingdom

CONTROLLED RELEASE NOTES:

Going out as part of a wishlist thread. Enjoy!

Journal Entry 6 by daffodil-2 at Norwich, Norfolk United Kingdom on Thursday, July 4, 2019
RECEIVED in the post today as part of the wishlist tag game. thanks very much. will fit it into one of Plum's monthly themes asap. Also received an unexpected bonus book Heroes by Robert Cormier. I look forward to reading both and maybe my husband will too.

Journal Entry 7 by daffodil-2 at Norwich, Norfolk United Kingdom on Thursday, July 18, 2019
My husband attempted to read this book but gave up with it. He said he felt the author used lots of long and complicated words unnecessarily and that the book in general would appeal more to women.
Therefore the book will be put back on my shelves until it fits into one of Plum's monthly themes as I'm still keen to read it.

Journal Entry 8 by daffodil-2 at Norwich, Norfolk United Kingdom on Friday, August 2, 2019
REVIEW:-"I agreed with my husband in that I didn't like the flowery, and very verbose way in which this book was written. I nearly gave up with it early on but it improved when the story started to unfold and there was some actual conversation. It was very poignant and sad in places but I was surprised at how little reference was made to the experiences of Chris during the war or as to how the war was affecting the civilians.
I was hoping for a different ending from that which occurred so was glad that it was short and not descriptive of Chris' feelings which necessarily would have been quite agonising. I did find at least one hole in the plot but can't note it here for fear of spoiling it for other readers. I don't think I will be looking for other titles by this author."
Reserved for Snoopy56 as I shall be interested in her take on it.

Journal Entry 9 by daffodil-2 at North Walsham, Norfolk United Kingdom on Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Released 2 yrs ago (8/14/2019 UTC) at North Walsham, Norfolk United Kingdom

CONTROLLED RELEASE NOTES:

This book was given to my friend Snoopy56 when we met today for lunch.

To the finder:-
Welcome to bookcrossing -you have found a travelling book. Please make a journal entry now to say where you found the book in case it has been moved. Then, when you have read it, please come back and make a further entry saying whether or not you enjoyed the book and why. It is now yours to do as you like with it, pass it to a friend or just leave it somewhere different for someone else to find and help it with its' journey. Of course if you can't bear to part with it at the moment then keep it, but please let me know that you have found it. If you join bookcrossing, which is free and spam-free, you can follow the book on its' travels as you will get an email each time it changes hands, but if you prefer to remain anonymous, that's fine too. Please also say what you intend to do with the book next. Thanks for coming onto the site to let me know you have found the book.

I already have books travelling in many countries around the world-a list can be found on my bookcrossing profile.

When re-releasing this book please be aware that airports are not a good place to leave books unless they have a specific book exchange shelf or area, due to security problems, so they may well just be disposed of. Also charity shops may well discard books that have been labelled in any way and they mostly chose only the books in the very best condition
to place on their shelves and discard the rest-so another bad release option.

Journal Entry 10 by snoopy56 at North Walsham, Norfolk United Kingdom on Thursday, August 22, 2019
This is the first novel by Rebecca West that I have read but I have read other books by women novelists of her generation and I’m a big fan of Virginia Woolf. I think the first part of the twentieth century was when women were finally being recognised as serious writers as opposed to romantic or gothic novelists
I thought the plot of the novel was an interesting concept. I’m sure the author would have been aware of cases of amnesia brought on by the horrors of war and she chose to use it as a benign condition rendering the book a love story.
This was one of Rebecca West’s earliest books and I think she was still experimenting with her style which is why the prose is a bit overblown at times but on the whole I enjoyed the book and would read more of hers.

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