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Virago Modern Classic Book Club: The Return of the Soldier by Rebecca West

The Return of the Soldier

Virago Modern Classics Book Club,

November 2018

The Return of the Soldier by Rebecca West


This November in commemoration of the 100th Anniversary of Armistice we are reading The Return of the Soldier by Rebecca West.

Victoria Glendinning on Rebecca West

The soldier returns from the front to the three women who love him. His wife, Kitty, with her cold, moonlight beauty, and his devoted cousin Jenny wait in their exquisite home on the crest of the Harrow-weald. Margaret Allington, his first and long-forgotten love, is nearby in the dreary suburb of Wealdstone. But the soldier is shell-shocked and can only remember the Margaret he loved fifteen years before, when he was a young man and she an inn-keeper’s daughter. His cousin he remembers only as a childhood playmate; his wife he remembers not at all. The women have a choice – to leave him where he wishes to be, or to ‘cure’ him. It is Margaret who reveals a love so great that she can make the final sacrifice.

The Return of the Soldier is a masterful novel about a shell-shocked, amnesiac soldier returning from WWI to the three women who love him.


‘Spellbinding . . . Probably her best fiction’ – Sunday Times


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Are you reading along? Let us know using #VMCBookClub on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.

Plus, click here to discover what we’ve read so far this year.


Pat Barker on The Return of the Soldier