A Kind of War by Pamela Haines

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Synopsis

'I didn't realise that for want of one person the world could be meaningless.' Blissfully in love for the first time, seventeen-year-old Polly thus confides to her grandmother, Muff. And these words could equally well have been spoken by Muff, or Polly's mother, Tessie. Muff can never forget her beloved brother Con, killed in the First World War, and Tessie has never recovered from the loss of her great childhood friend, Mike.

First published in 1976, the story takes takes off after both women have married. But their lives are unfulfilled and haunted by cherished memories - Muff looks back longingly to her youth when she was a great beauty and mourns the frailty of old age, and Tessie sadly contemplates her failures: as wife, mother and woman.

This sensitive story of women and love across three generations moves in time between the early part of the century, the Second World War and the Seventies. An elegantly written novel, it is both funny and sad, remarkable for its perceptive treatment of human weakness.
 

About Pamela Haines

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Pamela Haines was born in Yorkshire, like so many of the characters in her novels. Knaresborough, Leeds and Harrogate have all played a part in her family background. She was educated at a convent in the Midlands, and then read English at Newnham College, Cambridge. As a child she wrote non-stop, but around the age of seventeen, life became too busy, and she did not write again until her late thirties, by which time she was married to a doctor, and had five children. In 1971 she won the Spectator New Writing Prize with a short story, and eventually completed her first novel, Tea at Gunter's, in 1973. Critically acclaimed, it was the joint winner of the Yorkshire Arts Association Award for Young Writers. It was followed in 1976 by A Kind of War, described as 'a book to re-read and treasure' in the Daily Telegraph, and the even more successful Men on White Horses followed in 1978. Haines has written four further novels
 
Published September 28, 2011 by Bloomsbury Reader. 240 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction. Fiction

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