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.