The Times Literary Supplement — TLS — Nov. 30, 2012

Elaine Showalter has named my book one of her picks for Books of the Year in the TLS.

It reads as follows.

Pat Barker’s Toby’s Room is the most emotionally powerful and aesthetically  daring of her searing novels about World War I and British culture. Barker follows the group of Slade art students  she wrote about in Life Class  into the trenches and the hospital wards. Pivoting on an unforgettable scene in which a horribly  disfigured officer wears a mask of Rupert Brooke to the Café Royal, and tears it off to the shock of the spectators,  Toby’s Room finds bold images for the mythology of  the Great War.

I also enjoyed  Barbara Paul Robinson’s  Rosemary Verey: The Life and Leisure of a Legendary Gardener (David Godine). A clever socialite,  a character out of Nancy Mitford, Verey became the champion of traditional British garden design for a generation encompassing Prince Charles at Highgrove and Elton John at Woodside, and for hordes of American and Japanese  followers, including New York lawyer Robinson.