So Much Life Left Over: A Novel (Vintage International) (Paperback)
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They were an inseparable tribe of childhood friends whose world was torn apart by the First World War. Some were lost in battle, and those who survived have had their lives unimaginably upended, scattered to Ceylon and India, France and Germany, and, inevitably, back to Britain. Now, at the dawn of the 1920s, all are trying to pick up the pieces. At the center of Louis de Bernières’s riveting novel are Daniel, an RAF flying ace, and Rosie, a wartime nurse. As their marriage is slowly revealed to be built on lies, Daniel finds solace—and, sometimes, family—with other women, and Rosie draws her religion around herself like a carapace. Here too are Rosie’s sisters—a bohemian, a minister’s wife, and a spinster, each seeking purpose and happiness in her own unconventional way; and Daniel’s military brother, unable to find his footing in a peaceful world. Told in brief, dramatic chapters, So Much Life Left Over follows the stories of these old friends over the decades as their paths re-cross or their ties fray, as they test loyalties and love, face survivor’s grief and guilt, and adjust to a new world.
About the Author
Louis de Bernières is the author of many award-winning novels, including Birds Without Wings, Corelli’s Mandolin, The Dust That Falls from Dreams, Notwithstanding, A Partisan’s Daughter, Red Dog, Señor Vivo and the Coca Lord, The Troublesome Offspring of Cardinal Guzman, and The War of Don Emmanuel’s Nether Parts. Selected by Granta as one of the twenty Best of Young British Novelists in 1993, de Bernières lives in England. www.louisdebernieres.co.uk
“Superb. . . . [A] heart-gladdening and heartbreaking drama.” —Minneapolis Star Tribune
“De Bernières writes with whimsical sympathy.” —The Guardian
“Deft delineation of character is one of Louis de Bernières’ strengths. He does not caricature his people by highlighting their quirks, but shows them in action or dealing with inner conflicts. Consequently, the plot is not imposed on them by the exigencies of telling a story, but develops from their personalities and behavior.” —The Washington Times
“Witty and heartfelt. . . . De Bernières creates an impressionistic depiction of Britain recovering from one world war and slipping inexorably into another. . . . An irresistible reading experience.” —Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“A richly enjoyable, agreeably old-fashioned novel. . . . De Bernières has so completely immersed himself in the period of which he is writing that his book . . . recalls bestsellers of the 1920s and 30s.” —The Scotsman
“Told with the usual warmth, subtlety, and emotional intelligence that de Bernières brings to his fiction.” —Sydney Morning Herald
“Wonderful.” —The Daily Telegraph
“This tragicomic romp has a winning glint in its eye, delivering oodles of Downton-esque entertainment as it portrays a changing Britain poised uneasily on the brink of modernity.” —Daily Mail
“[A] heart-tugging tale of love, loss, guilt and regret.” —Sunday Express