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This line, quoted by Wilfred Owen to his mother on their final meeting, is the epigraph to this extraordinary novel.
Set before and during the Cheat War. it captures the drama of that era on both a national and personal scale. It is the Story of Stephen, a young Englishman, who arrives in Amiens in 1910. His life goes through a series of traumatic experiences, from the clandestine love affair that tears apart the family With whom he lives, to the unprecedented experience of the war itself.
BirdsoHg is thronged with living characters: lsahelle. the apparently conventional yet passionately driven wife of Stephen's French employer: Michael Vi'eir. his one true friend; Jack Firehrace. a miner from East London betrayed by his loving heart: Jeanne, a woman of unending patience and resource.
To the vast scenes of suffering and the tender depiction of human love Faulks has brought the same emotional intimacy that characterised TbeGM at the lion il'Or. Here he has widened the scope to produce a novel of moving grandeur.