5 Reasons to Read
Anaesthesia: A Story of Love, War and Addiction
Anaesthesia is a gripping story that takes the reader from a love born amidst the background of a confused 1915 London, across the Chanel to France and Flanders and back again to war-weary Britain. With a host of compelling characters, including the scruffy terrier Tinker and the Rev. Harry Briggs, the ultimately optimistic Anaesthesia takes the reader on an atmospheric journey from a London in confusion in 1915 over to Belgium and France and back again to a war-weary Britain. One is left wondering which is the real battle: the one in Europe or the battle of love over addiction?
It expertly captures the atmosphere of the time as well as the passions and emotions of the protagonists Jan and Lucy. It opens up unrealised worlds, visceral and often sensual, in the hospitals of northern France and the streets, homes, pubs and clubs of wartime London.
In Anaesthesia I try to bring to life the untold stories of a young couple living through the Great War. But it isn’t really a war story; it’s a story of love and addiction that explores each character and the way they cope with extraordinary circumstances. It brings to life in earthy detail the under-reported darker side of wartime London and captures the moods of desperation and hope. My intention is always to bring to life past events and to give a voice to those who are no longer in a position to speak for themselves.
I’ve always been astonished at the varying views of history and how they change with the times and political climate. Many of us in the UK developed our sense of history through BBC TV dramas and Hollywood interpretations. In my books, I want to say, ‘It wasn’t like that at all. Listen to my story and I’ll tell you what it was like ….’
Anyone with any interest in the trials of love in difficult times needs to read this book. It brings to life the challenges, loves and hopes of a couple living in London through the Great War. It stands on the bookshelf next to Hemingway’s A Farewell to Arms, Pat Barker’s Regeneration Trilogy, Sebastian Faulk’s Birdsong and Rebecca West’s The Return of the Soldier.