A debut novel about two young men who fall in love during the First World War. It is a beautifully written novel – both moving and compassionate – an exploration of homosexual love at a time when it was illegal in England, and a graphic picture of the horrors of trench warfare. The idyllic life of privileged schoolboys at an elite boarding school is in stark contrast to the battlefields of the War that was supposed to end all wars. The novel also uncovers the sharp differences between the way the officers and the working-class men were treated, and the conditions under which they served in the British Army.
The book’s title alludes to not only Tennyson’s famous poem, but also to the obituaries page in the school magazine. The characterization is sensitive and credible, the storytelling is exciting and flows well. There is also humour and adventure, which carries the novel along.
This reader also appreciated the ending of the book, which wasn’t conclusive and left to the reader’s imagination.