Pat Barker, Booker prize-winning author of the Regeneration trilogy returns to WWI in this dark, compelling novel of human desire, wartime horror and the power of friendship.
Toby and Elinor, brother and sister, friends and confidants, are sharers of a dark secret, carried from the summer of 1912 into the battlefields of France and wartime London in 1917.
When Toby is reported ‘Missing, Believed Killed’, another secret casts a lengthening shadow over Elinor’s world: how exactly did Toby die – and why? Elinor’s fellow student Kit Neville was there in the fox-hole when Toby met his fate, but has secrets of his own to keep. Enlisting the help of former lover Paul Tarrant, Elinor determines to uncover the truth. Only then can she finally close the door to Toby’s room.
Moving from the Slade School of Art to Queen Mary’s Hospital, where surgery and art intersect in the rebuilding of the shattered faces of the wounded, Toby’s Room is a riveting drama of identity, damage, intimacy and loss from the author of The Eye in the Door and The Ghost Road. It is Pat Barker’s most powerful novel yet.
NOMINATING LIBRARY COMMENTS
Chosen because of its emotive subject matter which is griping and thought provoking, Pat Barker has created a powerful novel of identitly, of love and of loss. This book traverses the summer of 1912 and unfolds through wartime London and into the battlefields of the First World War.