pat barker is a great writer, one who is less known in canada than the UK. This book is one in a trilogy for which she was warded a Booker prize. The story is based on true stories about what is now known as PTSD but which in WW1 was not widely recognized. The story features Siegfried Sassoon and another venerated war poet, William Owen, in a fictional encounter in a rehab hospital in Scotland. While the two did not in fact meet there much of the story is factual and paints an unforgettable picture of the reality of life in the trenches and all that went with it, as well as the courage of those such as Siegfried who though suffering terribly mentally felt compelled to return to their companions in arms. There is some discussion too of the techniques for treating PTSD/shell shock. Pat barker deserves to be read more widely especially now, one 100 years since the start of WW1, lest we forget.