Susan Hill (Pdf epub) Strange Meeting

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Strange Meeting

Setting for this story of the extraordinary devotion that develops between silent morose John Hillard full of war's futility and his as yet unscathed trench mate David. A deeply moving and beautifully written story set during World War 1

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A heart rending tale of friendship in wartime that deserves a place on the shelf beside the great books of wartime literature The trenches of the Western Front are the. I don t think this is a very well known or celebrated book but with the exception of Barker s Regeneration Trilogy I can t think of another World War I story that has moved me as deeply While in many ways a subtle novel missing a lot of the overblown overwrought movie moments found in other war novels it seamlessly captures the agony and ugliness of a war that devoured a whole generation of young men It in no way glorifies the war and presents it as what it is unadulterated irrational horror snuffing out promising lives without either meaning or grace The beauty of the book is instead found in the rare meaningful friendship that forms between two young soldiers in one tiny corner of the war It s the kind of extraordinary intrinsic friendship that even a lucky person might find only once in life and the author rendered it and both wonderful characters brilliantly This is a uiet painful utterly beautiful book and than once it reminded me of a poem by A E Housman Like this novel it s simpler and restrained than a lot of the famous war poems and like this novel I find it to be incredibly moving and trueHere dead we lie Because we did not choose To live and shame the land From which we sprung Life to be sure Is nothing much to lose But young men think it is And we were young

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Barton The lyrical beauty of Hill's narrative draws the reader in and doesn't let go This little novel is a gem compelling and moving a treat for all readers of fiction. WWI officer John Hilliard returns to France after spending several months in England recovering from a serious wound He is shocked to find that of the officers he had previously served with most are dead or disabled and those few who are not suffer from severe mental and emotional wounds rage bitterness despair madness He tries to isolate himself emotionally to avoid breaking down but is brought out of his shell by David Barton a friendly warm hearted officer who has not yet seen combat The two uickly become close friends and John suspects that the feeling between them may be than friendship But as the time approaches for them to go up to the front line he is terrified that the war will destroy David either through death or psychological trauma so deep David will never recoverAn unusual memorable war story neither about honor courage and patriotic duty nor the senseless slaughter of combat but about psychological even spiritual survival amid death and destruction and how strong bonds between people can help them endure unimaginable horror The author avoids sentimentality with a clear matter of fact tone and by not shying away from the ugly details of the war or the less pleasant aspects of her characters The relationship between John and David which is in a gray area between friendship and romantic love is portrayed sensitively and develops believably despite their very different personalities David helps John who is aloof and intimidating learn how to connect with others and John helps David who has been sheltered by his large affectionate family cope with his initial reactions to the carnage of the war


About the Author: Susan Hill

Susan Hill was born in Scarborough North Yorkshire in 1942 Her hometown was later referred to in her novel A Change for the Better 1969 and some short stories especially Cockles and MusselsShe attended Scarborough Convent School where she became interested in theatre and literature Her family left Scarborough in 1958 and moved to Coventry where her father worked in car and aircraft factor



10 thoughts on “Strange Meeting

  1. says:

    I don't think this is a very well known or celebrated book but with the exception of Barker's Regeneration Trilogy I can't think of a

  2. says:

    Strange Meeting Afterword

  3. says:

    I had not read Susan Hill before but when I've seen her titles I thought she veered toward ghost stories As I chose to read this because it c

  4. says:

    A deeply moving and beautifully written story set during World War 1

  5. says:

    Set in the First World War Beautifully written it almost reads like a poem if not exactly Wilfred Owen's poem of the same title Trench horror contrasts with the unreality of life in Blighty experienced by one of the characters in the novel home on leave; so unreal he can't wait to get back to FranceThe' strange meeting' is that between two officers John and David David and Jonathan? and the resulting bond between them One of them writes a

  6. says:

    Despite the inevitability of their being sad and depressing I will persist in reading novels about the First Wor

  7. says:

    This sad and haunting tale of the deep friendship which evolves between two officers serving in the trenches during WW1 is so well written and has such sensitivity that it couldn't fail to be movingOf the two men one is already emotionally scarred by his experiences but the other is as yet untouched by this dreadful war and has yet to discover what it meant to serve on the front lineI've read many books about this conflict but I felt this

  8. says:

    Once I knew I was going to write Strange Meeting it actually fell into place remarkably easily I suppose there are two ways

  9. says:

    WWI officer John Hilliard returns to France after spending several months in England recovering from a serious wound He is shocked to find that

  10. says:

    A short but beautiful book It doesn't have the scope of All uiet on the Western Front or other war related books like For Whom the Bell Tolls It's very focused on a short space of time and only two real locations The first is England the home of a recuperating John Hilliard recently invalided out of the Trenches and on leave to recover The second is the Trenches themselves and the surrounding French countrysid

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