Testament of Youth by Vera Brittain
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
This is a vivid description of a young upper-middle class woman's experience of world war one as a volunteer nurse. It is faultless apart from the fact that I had the deepest depression after reading about the legalised slaughter of a generation of young men, which in turn deprived many many young women the chance of finding a mate. Not to mention leaving many parents childless.
No wonder the Great War was dubbed 'The War to end all wars.' Experiencing even second hand the futility of so many lives ruined or thrown away is sobering. This is not only a Testament of Youth, but also a Testament of Bravery, made all the more haunting by Brittain's choice of poetry which proceeds each chapter. Don't read if you're feeling even the slightest bit blue. As a piece of social and war history this book is one of the few to be written by a woman and Vera Brittain is an excellent narrator who writes in beautiful prose about a very ugly subject.
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