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Published to international critical and popular acclaim, this intensely romantic yet stunningly realistic novel spans three generations and the unimaginable gulf between the First World War and the present. As the young Englishman Stephen Wraysford passes through a tempestuous love affair with Isabelle Azaire in France and enters the dark, surreal world beneath the trenches of No Man's Land, Sebastian Faulks creates a world of fiction that is as tragic as <b>A Farewell to Arms</b> and as sensuous as <b>The English Patient</b>. Crafted from the ruins of war and the indestructibility of love, <b>Birdsong</b> is a novel that will be read and marveled at for years to come.
Readers who are entranced by the sweeping Anglo sagas of <I>Masterpiece Theatre</I> will devour <i>Birdsong</i>, Sebastian Faulks's historical drama. A bestseller in England, there's even a little high-toned erotica thrown into the mix to convince the doubtful. The book's hero, a 20-year-old Englishman named Stephen Wraysford, finds his true love on a trip to Amiens in 1910. Unfortunately, she's already married, the wife of a wealthy textile baron. Wrayford convinces her to leave a life of passionless comfort to be at his side, but things do not turn out according to plan. Wraysford is haunted by this doomed affair and carries it with him into the trenches of World War I. <i>Birdsong</i> derives most of its power from its descriptions of mud and blood, and Wraysford's attempt to retain a scrap of humanity while surrounded by it. There is a simultaneous description of his present-day granddaughter's quest to read his diaries, which is designed to give some sense of perspective; this device is only somewhat successful. Nevertheless, <i>Birdsong</i> is an unflinching war story that is bookended by romances and a rewarding read.