A Son of War presents Melvyn Bragg’s second installment in what the Sunday Telegraph calls “one of the finest literary sagas of postwar Britain.” Continuing the story of the Richardson family begun in the award-winning The Soldier’s Return, this powerful novel depicts how the terrible upheavals of World War II reverberated in the peace that followed. After returning from the campaign in Burma, Sam Richardson was determined to leave his small hometown of Wigton for the promised land of Australia. Yet now, a few months later, he has settled for a job in Wigton’s paper factory, and believes he has put both his aspirations and his memories of the war behind him. His wife, Ellen, knows better, realizing how close their marriage has come to disaster. Caught between them, their young son Joe strives to fulfill their conflicting expectations for him, as he faces the challenges of childhood and adolescence and confronts his own demons.
Crafted with admirable understatement and acute insight into the twists and turns of the heart, this is a worthy successor to the highly praised The Soldier’s Return. A Son of War portrays a family forever altered by an experience subsequent generations can scarcely imagine, yet whose individual hopes, compromises, and quiet triumphs form the fabric of everyday, universal life.
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