Lucy Beresford

Battlefields of Life

We That Are Left

By

Harvill Secker 450pp £16.99 order from our bookshop

The Iron Necklace

By

Allen & Unwin 435pp £12.99 order from our bookshop

The First World War has been the subject of countless books over the years, and no more so than now, during the ongoing centenary commemorations. Two new and rather similar sweeping novels explore the ripples and ruptures to society brought about by the trauma of four years of fighting.

Clare Clark’s focus, as the title of her carefully plotted We That Are Left implies, is mainly on those who never fought – because they were too young, too old or female – but who were still affected by the battles across the Channel. Some of her characters seize on the opportunities available to their sex or class, while others remain unsure whether to embrace this new world or wait patiently for the old one to rock gently back onto its axis. 

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