Return of the Soldier

  • Type: Books
  • By: Rebecca West
  • Age Category: Adults
  • Genre: General Fiction
  • Recommended by: Morgan D.
  • ISBN/UPC: 9780141180656
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A gorgeous novella about grief, war, and lost youth

The premise: A young man returns, wounded, from the front during World War One. His wife and cousin are distraught to find that he’s lost fifteen years of his memory, remembering his cousin as his young playmate and his wife not at all. And yet, he is happier, having been returned to his youth. In their grief, will they restore his memories to him, at the cost of his happiness, and knowing that his recovery will send him back to war?

West is brilliant in this short novella: in her beautifully prickly prose, she sets her sights on class tensions, marital strife, the nature of honesty and the power (and limitations) of sisterhood. It’s short enough to read in a single sitting, which is reason enough to pick it up.