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Death Stalks Kettle Street
John Bowen

The hidden trials of war.

By John Boyne The Absolutist - John Boyne
Although I find it hard to read about life in the trenches, this book was so well written that it drew me in in spite of the difficult content.
I liked that we were taken back to peaceful post-war England from time to time, to break up the horror of war.
 
The main character is Tristan Sadler, who is twenty-one when we meet him on his way to visit the sister of his wartime friend, Will Bancroft. By a series of back-stories and explanations to Will's sister, we learn what happened between them during training and on the Front.
Tristan is wracked by guilt and needs to speak to the one person who knew Will intimately. I'm not sure that revealing his secret was a good move, but he felt he couldn't keep it to himself any longer. Nowadays psychologists would be on hand for such situations, but this was post WWI.
 
Although I thoroughly enjoyed reading this, giving it 5 stars, there were definitely some blips, some of which really annoyed other members of my book group. Will Bancroft's behaviour towards Tristan, although understandable on some levels, caused a great deal of dissent, for example. I decided to leave my original rating, however.
 
I've only previously read Boy in the Striped Pyjamas (5 stars) by this author and I shall certainly be looking out for more by him in the future.