Many different aspects of the book fascinated me: the change in the role of women due to WWI; the two sides of patriotism, one which I had never deeply considered before; the social mores of the time; and other information about WWI. And I am very glad to have read this account. The book is clean, heart wrenching, and consuming. It began with this quote from Siegfried Sasson, who wrote "Suicide in the Trenches. It ends with this quote by the same author, but from "Aftermath. Have you forgotten yet?
Look up, and swear by the green of the spring that you'll never forget. She greatly valued his opinion. What makes a human being want to kill another who has done him no personal harm? The one thing that can unite people. It takes priority over religious differences, or class, or money, or social position. And then people can be manipulated by others for reasons of power or to gain a few acres of land.
He stood up. Care for a walk down to the village before dinner? Her bedroom looked out over the back of the house to the washing green, the kitchen gardens, and the long glasshouses by the end wall. She could see the gardener's lad moving between the vegetable rows, hoeing the dry earth. Annie the housekeeper came out from the back kitchen with a large wicker washing basket on her hip.
She set it down and began unpegging the clothes, the white linen sheets and shirts. Charlotte heard the murmur of their voices. She stood for a few moments by her open window and inhaled the soft fragrant smell of summer. Pacifism, and what it means within the wider community, has also been addressed. The third person perspective which she has adopted works well with the unfolding story. Interesting and sometimes conflicting viewpoints have often been taken into account, and this forms perhaps the strongest element of the novel.
If this is happening so far from the Front, what must it be like then in France? The soldier opened his eyes. Some have been lying where they fell in What could he possibly mean? He must be delirious. The Army would not leave their dead soldiers just lying around. It was ridiculous. They had their own medical teams; the Royal Army Medical Corps, who attended to the wounded during and after engagements. What the man said could not possibly be true. Charlotte knew that war must be more bloody than shown in her history books at school where there were paintings of the British Army fighting in the Zulu Wars, Crimea, Waterloo.
The orderly ranks were lined up for battle, guns and swords gleaming, horses and men together. It had always looked glorious and exciting. There had been terrible losses in the Crimean War. But… her thoughts faltered, the men of the Light Brigade had been wiped out, and for what? The order to charge should not have been given. It had been a terrible mistake. And yet a poet had turned this dreadful scene into a thing of terrible beauty. She shook her head.
Now she was starting to think like Francis. Was all war wrong? Was this war in particular a terrible mistake? By late afternoon Charlotte was exhausted. She was working alone and began to unwrap a dressing when she saw at once there was something seriously wrong. A musty-smelling discharge oozed from between the sutured skin flaps. And then another thought came to Charlotte, clear and distinct. And what is more. Her hands paused in mid-air. I will return home, she decided, and that is where I will stay.
I can go about with Mother, visiting, and organizing teas. That would be equally helpful, and less distressing for me. His skin was ashen, his cheeks and eyes sunken, there was a line down the centre of his forehead where he had set his face against the pain.
It was the face of a man aged with suffering, but the patient information card which had arrived with him declared him to be twenty-two years old. She looked around her desperately. The only person she could see was a young doctor, further down the ward.
Charlotte signalled for him to come, breathed in and out quickly a few times, and then set to again to remove the old dressing.
Now we know how our grandparents and great-grandparents felt when this war to end all wars was fought. The book begins in and ends in She stood for a few moments by her open window and inhaled the soft fragrant smell of summer. From the Hardcover edition.
There are changes in careers, and dreams built for a different and peaceful future shelved indefinitely, not to mention loss, grief and death. John Malcolm's twin sister Maggie doesn't like either Francis or Charlotte. Remembrance is one of the best historical fiction novels written for young people about the Great War. Breslin has definite points to make about the nature of war but she never turns what is an involving and moving story into a polemic. Through their eyes the appalling truth of trench warfare and the devastating reality of war is seen daily as they nurse the wounded soldiers.
The story opens with fifteen-year-old Charlotte explaining to her mother why she feels she must go to train as a nurse rather than content herself with more ladylike war work. John Malcolm goes off to war and shortly after, on February, , the Military Service Act is passed meaning that Francis is called up to serve. Through their eyes the appalling truth of trench warfare and the devastating reality of war is seen daily as they nurse the wounded soldiers. Perhaps the character Alex best illustrates how the romance of war clashes with the reality of battle. However, preliminary research immediately indicated that there was more than one story to tell. His experience is exactly the reality he knew back in Scotland.
It was his first experience of an attack, and he hated everything about it. Because Francis is not part of the war effort, Charlotte is seen as helping the family's image in that regard. And although I do not read of it as much as you do, I hear enough to know that the Allies are not advancing as quickly as expected.
Literature of all kinds, film and sound archives, museums and websites. And yet a poet had turned this dreadful scene into a thing of terrible beauty.
Would you forge the date on your birth certificate and run away from home?