Home Fires by Elizabeth Day

Home Fires

Elizabeth Day

This is a beautifully written book which explores the harsh realities of war, as well as the aging process, and how the three main characters deal with this. Such subjects of loss and grief can be hard to read about, and indeed some parts make uncomfortable reading, but the different perspectives and flashes of humour make it a poignant and well-formed story.

Extract

When she opens the cupboard door she is assailed by the warm, fresh smell of washed linen. The shelves are scrupulously labelled with stickers on which she has written in clear, rounded lettering: sheets (double; single; fitted), pillowcases, towels. She laughs when she sees the stickers, she actually laughs .... Yes, the rest of her life is in chaos, Caroline thinks, but thank God my sheets and pillowcases are all in the right place .... As she walks down the stairs, two words stick in her mind, the letters whirling and bursting into flecks of light like fireworks studded against a night sky. Body armour .... For the first time in weeks, she feels a tiny spark of hope.

Parallels
  • The Yellow Birds by Kevin Powers
  • The Return of the Soldier by Rebecca West
  • The Soldier's Return by Melvyn Bragg