Home Fires

Home Fires Max Weston twenty one and a newly commissioned lance corporal leaves home for his first posting in central Africa Fiercely patriotic and a natural leader he is eager to make a difference He never c

  • Title: Home Fires
  • Author: Elizabeth Day
  • ISBN: 9781608199594
  • Page: 240
  • Format: Paperback
  • Max Weston, twenty one and a newly commissioned lance corporal, leaves home for his first posting in central Africa Fiercely patriotic and a natural leader, he is eager to make a difference.He never comes back.His parents, Caroline and Andrew, are devastated by the death of their only child Their grief threatens to overwhelm their marriage until the empty space between tMax Weston, twenty one and a newly commissioned lance corporal, leaves home for his first posting in central Africa Fiercely patriotic and a natural leader, he is eager to make a difference.He never comes back.His parents, Caroline and Andrew, are devastated by the death of their only child Their grief threatens to overwhelm their marriage until the empty space between them is filled by the arrival of Andrew s ninety eight year old mother, Elsa Always elegant, cutting and critical of Caroline, the old woman is now disabled and disoriented As she lies in the spare room, the past unspools in Elsa s mind, loosening fragments of her anxious childhood with her mercurial father, who returned from the Great War a changed man.Under one roof, the Westons come to understand each other in new ways, and the domestic stories of multiple generations coalesce into a potent exploration of the legacies of war and love.

    One thought on “Home Fires”

    1. 3.5 Elsa is a young girl when her father returns from the war, a man much changed, prone to fits of anger and despair. A father Elsa no longer knows and a father of whom she is scared.We again meet Elsa years later as an old woman whose mind is being taken over by Alzheimer, and we travel with her as she sees things through a different and corrosive lens of this disease.Andrew and Caroline have only had one son, a son who is declared dead after his first posting in the army. All these events con [...]

    2. Caroline Weston has lost her only son, Max, aged 21, in the Sudanese conflict. Still reeling with grief, she learns that her 98 year old mother-in-law, Elsa, increasingly incapacitated both mentally and physically, will be coming to live with her and her husband Andrew. Elsa, as she feels her memories, her independence and her very self slipping away, is haunted by recollections of her own father, who returned from WWI a broken man. This is a beautifully told narrative of family, love, loss, war [...]

    3. In a novel that spans the years from the close of World War One to a modern war in The Sudan, we see the effects of battle on one extended British family's life over generations in subtle, but meaningful ways. The story is essentially that of Elsa, a small child when her father returns from the "Great" War, her son Andrew and his wife Caroline, and, to a lesser extent, their son Max. This is a novel of relationships, of attempts to live with and understand (or not) others, to deal with what life [...]

    4. Home Fires is the story of two women, Elsa who was born during the First World War and Caroline who is her daughter-in-law. Both women had their lives defined by war. Elsa's father returned to the daughter he didn't know a damaged and brutal man. Caroline's son Max decided to join the army.The story is gentle but powerful, full of richness with the intensity of feelings, and what can happen when the layers of finesse are stripped back. All the relationships in this book are authentic; Elsa's wit [...]

    5. I'd probably give it 3.5 as it's really well written but in the end a bit slight in terms of plot for me. I read it in one sitting but I wouldn't call it a page-turner.

    6. OK but not as good as others by the same author, in my opinion. I would have liked more information on the father returned from WW1 and how this had such a massive impact on Elsa. Where was Alice and why did she not protect Elsa. I think that the father’s character could have been written more sympathetically. Caroline comes across as an unformed and very shallow person. The ending all seemed a little rushed as if the author had got fed up with writing and just wanted the book to end.

    7. Somewhat predictableFrom all of the reviews I expected Homefires to be terrific. It was ok. Predictable. At time I was somewhat bored with the story. Would have loved for the story to be about Elsa. She was the most believable character.

    8. I really liked this book. I very much identified with the plot, characters and story. Just 3 months ago my thirty-one year old son was killed while riding his motorcycle. I had many of the same thoughts that Caroline voiced in the book. at the end of the day, was Caroline a good enough mother to Max that she might have prevented his death somehow. Was Max at fault for not wearing the improved war gear? What would have been Max, Caroline and Andrew's life if he had survived the mine and returned [...]

    9. Nicely written - Day clearly has a very good grasp of language and understands how to write engaging prose. However, sometimes I found it a little too much - no-one ever seems to just 'do' something, as there is always some pretty language to dress it up in.For a short novel, I found it quite wordy, insofar as nothing much happens in the present - we discover most things via flashback/rambling thoughts of a dementia patient.I found it quite hard to sympathise with any one particular character, a [...]

    10. A poignant, elegantly-written book which grows on you as you get deeper into it. It's intense, dealing as it does with the subject matter of the effects of war on a returning soldier, bereavement, grief and the slide into senility. The characters of Elsa, mother-in-law to Caroline, Caroline herself and her husband Andrew are well-drawn and interesting, although certainly are not always likeable. This does not matter, the reader still wants to know what happens to them as the story progresses, un [...]

    11. It's really nice to find a new writer who can actually write. It's not as common a skill as it ought to be in published authors.It's a slow burner of a book, I wanted to read it slowly and don't think I would've appreciated it so much if I'd taken two days rather than two weeks to finish it. It is one to savour, not to gobble. The prose is delicate, elegant and very sad. The story seems to peter out at the end, but Caroline's isolating grief, Elsa's intimidating nature and Andrew's helplessness [...]

    12. I did not like this book, and yet I continue to think about its unlikable characters. It's mostly what I think of as an interior novel; a lot that happens is happening in the mind, remembrances, self-torment, etc. The oldest character, Elsa, grew up with an angry and unpredictable father. Her son, Andrew, choses a wife very unlike his mother. Andrew's wife, Caroline, and Elsa have an outwardly cordial relationship, but inside the relationship it is mostly composed of Elsa's small meannesses and [...]

    13. An interesting book. I particularly enjoyed the character of Elsa and learning about her dementia and seeing life through her eyes. It also showed the utter grief and despair a person goes through dealing with the bereavement of someone you love more than life itself! I enjoyed the social history too about WW1 and how 'shell shock' impacted on everyone's lives at this terrible time. It. must have been so difficult for all families to learn to live together again after this.It also gave hope for [...]

    14. Home Fires is a beautifully written novel that tells the story of one family and the devastating impact which two wars have on its members, not only on those who serve, but especially those at home, who have to deal with the aftermath of war. It also deals with having to deal with an elderly and failing parent, PTSD, grief, how a marriage copes with all these and the pressures of being an only child.

    15. I can't say I overly enjoyed this book as the subject matter is not pleasant - but both the sense of bereavement, and the confusion of a dying woman were brilliantly written, and the pace is fast. I was expecting more from the older character, particularly given the front cover, but most of it takes place in modern time. I would have liked a bit more on Elsa's story.

    16. The horrors of distant wars reverberate through three generations of an English home counties family. A huge story, spanning a century, told through the brilliantly-evoked emotions of the women left at home. A riveting read that asks big questions, Home Fires is likely to spark lots of book club discussions.

    17. This book follows two women affected by war. The first is Elsa whose father came home from WW1 very damaged when she was six, the second is her daughter-in-law Caroline whose son Max joins the army and is killed at 21. Although not much happens the relationships and the way they evolved kept me very involved.

    18. A well written and emotionally engaging narrative. I enjoyed the individual voices of the three main characters. Darker than I was anticipating, and distinctly unsettling at times, the sense of breakdown (familial, emotional, cognitive) was very convincing. Well worth a read.

    19. Such a beautifully written book. I really enjoyed reading this and the story is so touching. I loved Elsa's sections - a lot of thought has gone into writing her perspective in particular and it has such a powerful effect on the overall story.

    20. I found this after reading Elizabeth Day's newer novel. The setting is England after the war, but it goes back and forth depending on the narrator. A death in the family affects everyone in a different way. I loved the setting, and Day's writing style.

    21. Not terrible, but really didn't do much for me. Had it been much longer I probably would have had an excuse not to finish it.

    22. Excellent book looking at the interactions between 3 generations of one family and the damaging effects of war. Would be enjoys by fans of Joanna Trollope.

    23. Hated it! Fear of losing young son as soldier in war zone, and mother suffering with dementia, waking in fear and confusion every morning, far too close to home to enjoy. Glad it's over!!!

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