Date of publication: May 2000
'Unsentimental, truthful and wonderful' Beryl Bainbridge, Independent Books of the Year. When Sam Richardson returns in 1946 from the 'Forgotten War' in Burma to Wigton in Cumbria, he finds the town little changed. But the war has changed him, broadening his horizons as well as leaving him with traumatic memories. In addition, his six-year-old son now barely remembers him, and his wife has gained a sense of independence from her wartime jobs.
As all three strive to adjust, the bonds of loyalty and love are stretched to breaking point in this taut, and profoundly moving novel. 'An outstandingly good novel...utterly credible, utterly compelling, and very enjoyable' Allan Massie, Scotsman 'Deeply felt, beautifully realised' John Sutherland, Sunday Times 'The first Great War came alive in Faulks's Birdsong; the second Great War, and in particular the Burma campaign, comes very much alive in Melvyn Bragg's The Soldier's Return -- wholly absorbing' John Bayley, Evening Standard 'Sympathetic, touching, infinitely believable...This is a highly accomplished novel' D.J. Taylor, Literary Review