Title: Land of the Living
Author: Georgina Harding
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing
Publishing Date: 1st November 2018
My Rating: 4 stars
Having survived the atrocities of the second world war, Charlie is settled in the countryside Norfolk with his wife Claire, and spending his time on his farmland. In the midst of his present life, he keeps on visiting his past and shares the enduring horrors he faced, the stories how he was rescued by local tribe in the jungles of Assam, deaths of other members of his patrol, the battlefield of Kohima, and the accounts that he could not share and that were buried deep within him.
Land of the Living explores the emotions and experiences of Charlie, who was posted in Kohima during the second world war. In the meantime, the author also portrays Charlie from the perspective of his wife, Claire and how she looks upon his husband’s encounter of war. Harding explicates through her book the damage a war does and its lasting effect on life and mind resulting in traumatic disorders and distress, the psyche of the person who keeps on revisiting those haunting memories.
Georgina Harding has a distinct voice where she accounts the fervours of war and suffering in an explicit and precise way. Her narrative is so evocative that it gives out the clear picture of the land, the scenery and the circumstances of the war. Every time I turned the page, I felt like the book was moving in a poetic rhythm.
Land of the Living is a book which should be read for its prose: powerful and remarkable. Definitely recommended.
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