Toby's Room

Toby's Room

3.7 (3,132 ratings by Goodreads)
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"From Booker Prize winner Pat Barker, a masterful novel that portrays the staggering human cost of the Great War. Admirers of her Regeneration Trilogy as well as fans of "Downton Abbey" and "War Horse" will be enthralled. " With "Toby's Room," a sequel to her widely praised previous novel "Life Class," the incomparable Pat Barker confirms her place in the pantheon of Britain's finest novelists. This indelible portrait of a family torn apart by war focuses on Toby Brooke, a medical student, and his younger sister Elinor. Enmeshed in a web of complicated family relationships, Elinor and Toby are close: some might say too close. But when World War I begins, Toby is posted to the front as a medical officer while Elinor stays in London to continue her fine art studies at the Slade, under the tutelage of Professor Henry Tonks. There, in a startling development based in actual fact, Elinor finds that her drafting skills are deployed to aid in the literal reconstruction of those maimed in combat. One day in 1917, Elinor has a sudden premonition that Toby will not return from France. Three weeks later the family receives a telegram informing them that Toby is "Missing, Believed Killed" in Ypres. However, there is no body, and Elinor refuses to accept the official explanation. Then she finds a letter hidden in the lining of Toby's uniform; Toby knew he wasn't coming back, and he implies that fellow soldier Kit Neville will know why. " Toby's Room" is an eloquent literary narrative of hardship and resilience, love and betrayal, and anguish and redemption. In unflinching yet elegant prose, Pat Barker captures the enormity of the war's impact--not only on soldiers at the front but on the loved ones they leave more

Product details

  • Hardback | 302 pages
  • 139.7 x 210.82 x 33.02mm | 476.27g
  • Doubleday Books
  • New York, NY, United States
  • English
  • 0385524366
  • 9780385524360
  • 949,195

Review quote

Advance Praise for "Toby's Room" "[A]lthough "Toby's Room" is not billed as a prequel or sequel to "Life Class" and the reader need not be familiar with that novel in order to get to grips with this... [t]hose who do know Barker's previous work will be struck by recurrences and continuations in this novel not only of events in "Life Class," but in "Regeneration," too.... [Barker's] prose remains fresh, humanely business-like, crisp and unsentimental. Images are scrupulously vivid, and the plot has real momentum."--Freya Johnston, "Telegraph" (London) "A driving storyline and a clear eye, steadily facing the history of our world.... For Barker, the wounded faces of the soldier-victims are realities, and also emblems of what must never be forgotten or evaded about war, and must continue - in her plain, steady, compelling voice - to be turned into art."--Hermione Lee, "Guardian" (London) Praise for "Life Class " "Beautiful and evocative . . . A coming-of-age story that transcends the individual and gestures to the fate of a generation." --"People """Life Class" possesses organic power and narrative sweep . . . Barker conjures up the hellish terrors of war and its fallout with meticulous precision." --Michiko Kakutani, "The New York Times ""Here, as in her best fiction, Barker unveils psychologically rich characters . . . and resists the trappings of a neat love story, reminding us once again that in art and life we remain infinitely mysterious." --"San Francisco Chronicle "Praise for the Regeneration Trilogy "A masterwork . . . complex and ambitious." --"The""New York Times Book Review" "It has been Pat Barker's accomplishment to enlarge the scope of the contemporary English novel." --"The New Yorker" "A literary achievement . . . remarkable." --"San Francisco Chronicle " "Some of the most powerful antiwar writing in modern fiction." --" The Boston Globe"of thershow more

About Pat Barker

Pat Barker is most recently the author of "Life Class," as well as the highly acclaimed Regeneration Trilogy: "Regeneration"; "The Eye in the Door," winner of the Guardian Fiction Prize; and "The Ghost Road," winner of the Booker Prize; as well as seven other novels. She lives in the north of England. "Life Class "is available in Anchor more

Rating details

3,132 ratings
3.7 out of 5 stars
5 20% (615)
4 42% (1,314)
3 29% (923)
2 7% (218)
1 2% (62)
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