Toby’s Room by Pat Barker – review

By Marion McLeod In Books

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24th November, 2012
Toby’s Room is a sort of sequel to Pat Barker’s previous novel, Life Class. Sort of, because although many characters reappear, this second book opens in 1912, two years earlier than Life Class, and then leapfrogs to 1917. Both books begin in civvy street and move to the front line. And both come alive there after somewhat creaky beginnings. World War I is undoubtedly Barker’s métier. This time a young woman takes centre-stage; much of the narrative consists of her letters and diary entries. Elinor Brooke (the surname surely more than coincidental) is a student ...

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