Although this is a novel - a genre I usually avoid - this book has clearly been well-researched and is well-written.
The story is based on the fictional character of Tom Macrae who, due to a series of incidents, finds himself volunteering for service in the Canadian Cavalry regiment Lord Strathcona's Horse. Tom's training is described, with enemies from his recent past lurking in the background. Eventually arriving in France, the author sets Tom in the front line, with his regiment serving as infantry.
Usually, when reading about the Great War, one does not notice the absence of dialogue between the participants but, in this instance, due to the nature of the book, dialogue is a significant part of the story. For me, it brings a fresh perspective to interpreting the war - it also brings the point home that the war was not conducted in silence and the participants did interact with each other. This is not always the case when reading standard histories.
The climax of the story is the Battle of Moreuil Wood when Tom comes into contact with Brigadier-General Jack Seely: this feels slightly contrived but nevertheless the characters feel realistic and the plot accurate.
The book is recommended.
Reviewed by: David Tattersfield.