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Home fires [text (large print)] / Elizabeth Day.

By: Day, Elizabeth, 1978- [author.].
Material type: TextTextPublisher: Leicester : Charnwood ; Thorpe, 2014, c2013Edition: Large print edition.Description: 355 pages (large print) ; 24 cm.Content type: text Media type: unmediated Carrier type: volumeISBN: 9781444818031 (hbk.); 1444818031 (hbk.).Subject(s): Families -- Fiction | Grief -- Fiction | Interpersonal relations -- Fiction | Mothers-in-law -- Fiction | Great Britain -- History -- George V, 1910-1936 -- Fiction | Great Britain -- History -- George VI, 1936-1952 -- FictionGenre/Form: Historical fiction. | Large type books. DDC classification: 823.92 Summary: Max Weston, twenty-one and a newly commissioned lance corporal, leaves home for his first posting in Eastern Africa. Fiercely patriotic and completely at home in the army, he is eager to make a difference. He never comes back. His parents Caroline and Andrew are devastated by the death of their only child. The overwhelming love Caroline has always felt for her son is now matched by the intensity of her loss, and as she is borne away on a private ocean of grief the moorings of their marriage begin to come loose. The silence is broken by the arrival of Andrew's mother, Elsa, who at the age of ninety-eight can no longer look after herself. Caroline has never felt good enough for this elegant, cuttingly courteous lady and has lived for years in fear of putting a foot wrong. Now, suddenly, Caroline has the upper hand. As Elsa lies, marooned and disorientated, in the spare room, the past unspools in her mind, throwing up fragments of her anxious childhood in 1920s Richmond - under the shadow of her father, a soldier who came back from the Great War a different man.
Item type Current location Collection Call number Copy number Status Date due Barcode Item holds
Large Print Davis (Central) Library
Large Print
Large Print DAY 1 Available T00558202
Total holds: 0

Enhanced descriptions from Syndetics:

Max, with lance corporal stripes on his sleeve, leaves home for his first posting. Fiercely patriotic, he is eager to make a difference. He never comes back. His parents are devastated by the death of their son. The love Caroline felt for her son is now matched by the intensity of her loss as she is borne away on an ocean of grief.

Complete and unabridged.

Originally published: London: Bloomsbury Publishing, 2013.

Max Weston, twenty-one and a newly commissioned lance corporal, leaves home for his first posting in Eastern Africa. Fiercely patriotic and completely at home in the army, he is eager to make a difference. He never comes back. His parents Caroline and Andrew are devastated by the death of their only child. The overwhelming love Caroline has always felt for her son is now matched by the intensity of her loss, and as she is borne away on a private ocean of grief the moorings of their marriage begin to come loose. The silence is broken by the arrival of Andrew's mother, Elsa, who at the age of ninety-eight can no longer look after herself. Caroline has never felt good enough for this elegant, cuttingly courteous lady and has lived for years in fear of putting a foot wrong. Now, suddenly, Caroline has the upper hand. As Elsa lies, marooned and disorientated, in the spare room, the past unspools in her mind, throwing up fragments of her anxious childhood in 1920s Richmond - under the shadow of her father, a soldier who came back from the Great War a different man.

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Reviews provided by Syndetics

Publishers Weekly Review

In modern-day England, Elsa Weston is 98, debilitated by a stroke, and furious at not being able to express herself or make her body follow orders. In 1920, she is a child trying to cope with a father she barely recalls, back from the war that has left him depressed, angry, and abusive. In between she is the elegant, contained, upper-class woman who intimidates her daughter-in-law, Caroline. In her U.S. debut, Day is excellent at showing the complexities of human relationships, making us sympathize with Elsa when we're with her, while pulling no punches about how inflexible and imperious she is when seen from Caroline's vantage point. The problem is that this subtlety is serving a larger story that isn't particularly interesting: Caroline and Andrew's son, Max, by all accounts exactly the kind of man one would want in the army, enlists and is killed during his first posting in Africa. Devastated by grief, Caroline turns away from her husband and develops a Xanax habit, and when Elsa's decline necessitates a move to Caroline and Andrew's house, everyone's isolation and anger is compounded. Day is given to telling us things we could figure out for ourselves, but the real problem is the lack of events or emotional variety in this well-intentioned but flat story. (Nov.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

Booklist Review

War marks the lives of three generations of an English family in this finely wrought novel. In 1920, when Elsa is just six, her father comes home from war a changed man and begins to physically abuse her. Ninety years later, war brings tragedy again. As a young woman Elsa escapes from home, marries well, and remakes herself, bearing one child, Andrew, who falls in love with lower-class Caroline because she is so unlike his mother. In 2010, Max the only child of Andrew and Caroline, a golden boy whom Caroline loves more than life itself dies on duty in the Upper Nile when he steps on an IED. A marriage is strained to the point of breaking, and age and illness cause shifts in power between Caroline and Elsa, the mother-in-law she always feared. Day (Scissors, Paper, Stone, 2012) captures nuances in the relationships between her well-drawn, fallible characters, focusing on one after the other in nonchronological chapters that constitute a vivid mosaic of grief and aging. A moving family portrait.--Leber, Michele Copyright 2010 Booklist

Kirkus Book Review

A beautifully crafted novel of love, loss and self-forgiveness. Caroline and Andrew Weston have recently lost their only son, Max, a corporal who died in an explosion while serving with the British Army in South Sudan. Caroline is shattered, and her deep grief drives a wedge between her and her husband. And as if that weren't trauma enough, Andrew has decided that his aging mother, Elsa, should come and live with them since she can no longer cope with being on her own. Caroline and Elsa have never gotten along, and Caroline, even at the age of 52, is still made to feel socially inferior by her imperious mother-in-law. Caroline develops an unhealthy obsession as a way of dealing with her loss, spending hours on the computer researching body armor, convinced that inadequate protection may have been the reason for Max's death. She winds up getting an appointment with the Armed Services Minister, who explains to her that while Max had access to newer equipment, for whatever reason, he chose to wear his old armor, and this made him more vulnerable. Even this Caroline cannot understand, and she accuses the minister of lying. On the way out of the office, she collapses by a cenotaph honoring "The Glorious Dead," and this turns out to be the turning point toward an acceptance of Max's death. Andrew, of course, has been experiencing the same loss, though he copes with it in a much different, though no less destructive way. Meanwhile, Elsa's presence in the household exacerbates the tension. Day moves the reader poignantly through different perspectives on personal suffering and heartbreak.]] Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.