Mark Lawson

Battle of Minds

Where My Heart Used to Beat

By

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One of the odder subgenres of English literature is war books by novelists who were born after the war. Three near-contemporaries, Sebastian Faulks, Louis de Bernières and William Boyd, all frequently write fiction inspired by the world wars.

So it is perhaps unsurprising that – in the year that marks the 70th anniversary of the Second World War’s end and in which events to mark the centenary of the First World War continue – each member of this trio has responded with a project that encompasses both of the global bloodbaths: de Bernières’s The Dust That Falls from Dreams, Boyd’s Sweet Caress and, from Faulks, Where My Heart Used to Beat.

T S Eliot, in the second of his Four Quartets, laments ‘twenty years largely wasted,

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