Image

As it’s Remembrance Day, I thought I’d recommend some good war literature. You all know the classics, I’m sure; Siegfried Sassoon’s Memoirs, Robert Graves’ Goodbye to All That, and Vera Brittain’s Testament of Youth. But there’s also some fabulous stuff that is more modern, and brilliant in its ability to show war from new perspectives. Elizabeth Wein’s Code Name Verity and its sequel Rose Under Fire are seriously gripping portrayals of young women pilots at war. Ruta Septys’ Between Shades of Gray depicts the horrors of life under Stalin in war torn Eastern Europe. Birdsong by Sebastian Faulks is a sublime depiction of life at the front. Persephone Books have republished many wonderful, powerful novels written mid-conflict, exploring the struggles people faced on the home front. But my favourite of them all has to be Elizabeth Bowen’s The Heat of the Day. No greater evocation of London in wartime could ever be written. – Rachel