One of our Books of the Year 2015.
September 2015 Book of the Month.
An atmospheric, touching and compassionate story based in London during the Second World War, where living on the edge and in the moment occurred on a daily basis. We seem to view Elinor and Paul from a distance, the writing initially skates over their feelings, creating a boundary and a sense of remoteness. When Bertha enters the tale there is an immediate burst of character, colour and emotion, effectively highlighting the other relationships. Pat Barker writes with an eloquently simple, stark style that somehow conveys the significance and consequences of the London Blitz, with even more power and emotion. The London of bombs, fire, craters, rubble, plaster dust, fear and exhaustion is an achingly moving and thought provoking place. This is the third in a trilogy, however I read Noonday as a stand-alone novel and didn’t feel as though I was missing out on what had gone before, though there are enough back references and tantalising hints to encourage me to go back to the beginning just as soon as I can, and I don't think having already read‘Noonday will spoil that experience. Able to delve into the most intimate, hidden places of a relationship, yet simultaneously display the wider aspect of the London Blitz during 1940, this is a commanding and memorable read. ~ Liz Robinson
In Noonday, Pat Barker - the Man Booker-winning author of the definitive WWI trilogy, Regeneration - turns for the first time to WWII. 'Afterwards, it was the horses she remembered, galloping towards them out of the orange-streaked darkness, their manes and tails on fire...' London, the Blitz, autumn 1940. As the bombs fall on the blacked-out city, ambulance driver Elinor Brooke races from bomb sites to hospitals trying to save the lives of injured survivors, working alongside former friend Kit Neville, while her husband Paul works as an air-raid warden. Once fellow students at the Slade School of Fine Art, before the First World War destroyed the hopes of their generation, they now find themselves caught in another war, this time at home. As the bombing intensifies, the constant risk of death makes all three of them reach out for quick consolation. Old loves and obsessions re-surface until Elinor is brought face to face with an almost impossible choice. Completing the story of Elinor Brooke, Paul Tarrant and Kit Neville, begun with Life Class and continued with Toby's Room, Noonday is both a stand-alone novel and the climax of a trilogy. Writing about the Second World War for the first time, Pat Barker brings the besieged and haunted city of London into electrifying life in her most powerful novel since the Regeneration trilogy. Praise for Pat Barker: She is not only a fine chronicler of war but of human nature. (Independent). A brilliant stylist...Barker delves unflinchingly into the enduring mysteries of human motivation. (Sunday Telegraph). You go to her for plain truths, a driving storyline and a clear eye, steadily facing the history of our world. (The Guardian). Barker is a writer of crispness and clarity and an unflinching seeker of the germ of what it means to be human. (The Herald). Praise for Toby's Room: Heart-rending, superb, forensically observant and stylistically sublime. (Independent). Magnificent; I finished it eagerly, wanting to know what happened next, and as I read, I was enjoying, marvelling and learning. (Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie). Dark, painful, yet also tender. It succeeds brilliantly. (New York Times). The plot unfurls to a devastating conclusion...a very fine piece of work. (Melvyn Bragg, New Statesman).
In addition to our Lovereading expert opinion some of our Reader Review Panel were also lucky enough to read and review this title. You can click here to read the full reviews.
Publication date: 27/08/2015
Publisher: Hamish Hamilton Ltd an imprint of Penguin Books Ltd
|Publication date:||27th August 2015|
|Publisher:||Hamish Hamilton Ltd an imprint of Penguin Books Ltd|
|Genres:||Books of the Month, Reader Reviewed Books, eBook Favourites, Historical Fiction, Literary Fiction,|
Pat Barker was born in 1943. Her books include the highly acclaimed Regeneration trilogy, comprising Regeneration (1991); which was made into a film of the same name; The Eye in the Door (1993), which won the Guardian Fiction Prize; and The Ghost Road (1995), which won the Booker Prize, as well as the more recent novels Another World, Border Crossing, Double Vision, Life Class and Toby’s Room. She lives in Durham.More About Pat Barker