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The powerful, award-winning novel of World War II, which Publishers Weekly called a small classic, deeply touching and true.”
In the spring of 1946, ex-corporal Sam Richardson returns home from the forgotten war” in Burma to his hometown of Wigton in Cumbria, England, to the joyful relief of his young wife, Ellen. He finds a town in which, seemingly, little has changed: the same twisting alleys, weavers’ cottages, and medieval archways; and the same lack of prospects for an uneducated, working-class man like himself.
Sam, however, has changed. The war has not only left him with traumatic memories, which he tries to suppress, but also given him greater self-confidence and broadened his horizons. From her wartime jobs, Ellen, too, has gained a sense of independence she does not want to give up. And then there’s six-year-old Joe, a baby when Sam volunteered, who can scarcely remember his father. As all three strive to adjust, the bonds of love and loyalty become stretched to the breaking point.
With this absorbing story of one family, Melvyn Bragg conveys the experience of millions in the aftermath of the Second World War. The Soldier’s Return is a taut, profoundly moving novel by a writer at the height of his powers.
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Melvyn Bragg is an English broadcaster and the author of more than a dozen novels, including The Cumbrian Trilogy and The Soldier’s Return Quartet, as well as numerous works of nonfiction. The Soldier’s Return won the WH Smith Literary Award as best novel of the year in 2000. In 1998 Bragg was named a life peer.From AudioFile:
The title subject is so ancient and universal that its archetypal expression, Homer's ODYSSEY, still grips readers worldwide after three thousand years. The soldier's homecoming often ignites trauma greater than that of battle. In his assay of the theme, Melvyn Bragg shows us a basically decent working-class grunt adjusting to hearth and home in an English town after WWII. Actor Mark McGann approaches the unassuming tale with quiet reflectiveness and an intimacy with the book's Cumbrian backdrop. He creates an atmosphere of wintry gloom, as his hero tries to warm the chill in his psyche. Y.R. (c) AudioFile 2000, Portland, Maine-- Copyright © AudioFile, Portland, Maine
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