A Novel

Book - 2015
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"A new novel from the Booker Prize winning Pat Barker, author of the Regeneration Trilogy, that unforgettably portrays London during the Blitz (her first portrayal of World War II) and reconfirms her place in the very top rank of British novelists. London, the Blitz, Autumn 1940. As the bombs fall on the blacked-out city, ambulance driver Elinor Brooke races from bomb sites to hospitals trying to save the lives of injured survivors, working alongside former friend Kit Neville, while her husband Paul Tarrant works as an air-raid warden. Once fellow students at the Slade School of Fine Art before the First World War destroyed the hopes of their generation, they now find themselves caught in another war, this time at home. As the bombing intensifies, the constant risk of death makes all three reach out for quick consolation. And into their midst comes the spirit medium Bertha Mason, grotesque and unforgettable, whose ability to make contact with the deceased finds vastly increased demands as death rains down from the skies. Old loves and obsessions resurface until Elinor is brought face to face with an almost impossible choice. Completing the story of Elinor Brooke, Paul Tarrant and Kit Neville begun with Life Class and continued with Toby's Room, Noonday is both a stand-alone novel and the climax of a trilogy. Writing about the Second World War for the first time, Pat Barker brings the besieged and haunted city of London into electrifying life in her most powerful novel since the Regeneration trilogy"-- Provided by publisher.
Publisher: New York : Doubleday, an imprint of Penguin Random House, 2015
Edition: First United States edition
ISBN: 9780385537728
Branch Call Number: FICTION Barker, Pat
Characteristics: 307 pages ; 22 cm


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Jul 07, 2016

Setting a personal love story amidst the chaos of the World War II London Blitz and making it believable shows the skill of Barker as an author. The dust, the grit, the fires, the fear are all there but so are the emotions and loves of a husband and wife who along with a good artist friend live in London during the Blitz. If nothing else, you finish the book with a sense of the tenacity of the British during the war, incorporating the fire bombings into their lives yet understand the words “Keep calm and carry on.” Personal tragedies and triumphs rise amidst the smoke and fire.

Apr 17, 2016

It's 1940 and London is burning. The three protagonists of Barker’s 'Life Class' trilogy, Elinor, Paul and Kit, find themselves supporting the war effort on the Home Front as ambulance drivers and air raid warden. But, painting is still part of their lives, as the Ministry of Information commissioned artwork of the war’s alteration of people’s lives.
The tamped down emotions and living from day to day existence of a country that fully expected a German invasion is vividly portrayed as the three go about their nightly rendezvous with death. Baker’s writing is atmospheric and the situations she has each encounter poignant. Who of their generation expected another war? Highly anticipated by me as I loved 'Life Class' and 'Toby’s Room,' the other two books in this trilogy. Recommend this one, too. Thanks, Pat Barker.

Mar 25, 2016

This book concludes the trilogy of the three young artists we first met at the Slade School of Art just before WW I. It is now London during the Blitz and the artists are now middle-aged. The only jarring element in the novel is the character of the medium. Overall, the atmosphere of London during WW II is wonderfully evoked and despite tragedy, the book ends on a hopeful note.

Oct 23, 2015

Pat Barker's descriptions of The Blitz are masterly. The reader can feel the heat and smell the smells of London in the Autumn of 1940. This book is the third of the trilogy, which began with Life Class and Toby's Room. It would have been more difficult to read as a stand alone novel. The established scenarios and interactions between the main characters are important background. In consequence there can be no assurances of a happy outcome in this story. They are now middle-aged , dealing with the changes and losses of middle age and plunged into another War. This time it is at home rather than at a distance in the trenches and on the battlefields in Flanders and France in WWI. There is an immediacy about the results of the bombing in London.. I particularly liked the sub plot about Kenny, the little evacuee sent to the country. He would literally say and do anything to get back with his family who don't particularly want him with them. This year marks the 75th anniversary of those events.Noonday's publication is timely.


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