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This sounds like a wonderful read, Danielle. I note that you can download a free copy for eBook readers at The link is:


Kimbofo--It was better the second time around than the first--I read much more slowly and appreciated the prose more. I was wondering if it was online somewhere. I checked Project Gutenberg last week but they didn't have it. Thanks for the link!


I love The Return of the Soldier but my favorite Rebecca West is The Fountain Overflows - wonderful writing.


I have downloaded the book but haven't read it yet. Looking forward to it -- but, like pburt, I don't think anything can surpass my love for "The Fountain Overflows", which is my favorite book Of. All. Time.


Pburt--I enjoy her writing as well. Since this was her first novel I expect she must get better with time? Perhaps that is the book I'll pick up next by her.
Oolookitty--A second vote for The Fountain Overflows! I do have it on my pile and have heard others enthuse over it--must dig out my copy. Isn't there a sequel (or sequels?) to it? Have you read them as well? The Return of the Soldier is fairly quick read really, but there's so much to the story it's one that reads better not rushed.


A very thoughtful review Danielle. I think the length of the novel is deceptive. It is so complex. In the edition that I have the editors write how often H.G. Wells and Rebecca West echoed their lives and each others work in their novels. It seems Chris is very close to Wells himself.
I can see how this could gain in a second reading. There was someone commenting on my post that it did get better the second and -in his case - third way around. Thanks for participating.


What edition is that? I have THREE beautiful Virago editions...


I so wanted to join in on this one, but never got to it in time. I definitely will read it, though. I love Rebecca West and have been impressed by every book by her that I've read.


Sounds like a compact and thought-provoking read. I enjoyed your review very much.


Wow, this sounds marvelous. I've not read West before but clearly I need to make more of an effort to do so. I'm missing out!


Perhaps if I write out 'I will read Rebecca West' a hundred times, I might actually finally get round to it. Of course, while I'm busy writing that I could be just as busy reading her.


Oh, this sounds wonderful! I'd love to read this one.


I recall reading this in a VMC edition in my teens and being knocked sideways by how much there was in that little book. I've always meant to read it again and I really must.


Yes, there are two sequels to "Fountain"... "Cousin Rosamund" and "This Real Night". Unfortunately, the last novel was never completed, but there is an outline, more or less, of what was going to happen. And that means that last book isn't quite as polished, maybe, as the first two, but it still knocks me out.

One theory holds that, as the books were heading into WWII, and some very dark things were going to happen, West just couldn't bring herself to actually finish the books and put her characters through it... I don't know if that's true, but I'm grateful for what she left us.


Caroline--Sorry I've not been over to comment--have read your posts and the discussion, however. It is a book that is complex despite it's few pages. It took me longer to reread than I expected (hence my tardy post--am starting early for the next book--already have it out!). I knew about her affair with Wells--interesting that they wrote about their relationship in their books. Wouldn't it be interesting to read more, knowing their history and life stories, and see how it all plays out in their fiction? I did get more out of it this second time. I had to go back and look at my first post on it--and I didn't write much at all--I think I was overwhelmed by it! Great choices so far by the way.
Verity--I've not seen the Virago editions--I will have to look as you post covers of the books. Mine is a Modern Library edition, which I think is Random House. I've had it for a number of years--and I love the cover illustration.
Litlove--I don't know why I've not read more by her yet. I think I need to read The Fountain Overflows next. I've not accomplished as much this past couple of weeks as I had hoped to either--but sometimes life just gets in the way of reading!
Kathy--This seemed like it would be a quickie, but there was much more to it than I remembered. She manages to squeeze in quite a story in not very many pages.
Stefanie--This is online so you can load it onto your Kindle! I think you'd like it.
Annie--I know that feeling well! I wonder how many authors I can say that about. This seems like a good place to I just need to read more!
Tiina--It's very well done and one I can easily recommend to people. I'm very curious now about her other books (and was the firs time around, too!).
FleurFisher--I think it is a story that improves with a second reading. I know I got more out of it this time around. That twist at the end is heartbreaking but totally expected, too.
Oolookitty--I don't know very much about West-I should read more about her. Interesting about WWII and not wanting to put your characters through things. Isn't it funny how attached we become to characters in books? I know I do. I have The Fountain Overflows--I am going to pull it out and try and read it soon. I am sure my library has the other two books--I looked her up when I was reading The Return of the Soldier and we seem to have quite a few of her books. I may have to investigate further!

Dorothy W.

She wrote this when she was 24? Wow. I would very much like to read it at some point, and I'm happy that it's available as an ebook. It's already on my Nook! I really loved The Fountain Overflows, so here's another vote for that book.


I'm definitely missing out on reading West! As always Danielle, your reviews make me want to go get the books now.


Dorothy--She already had a child by that time and was writing nonfiction as well. I'm sure I was goofing around at that age and have not improved much since then. I think you'd appreciate this one. And I think I will read The Fountain Overflows--of her books that is--next!
Iliana--The nice thing is this is short. There's a lot to the story, but it's still reads fairly quickly. I hope you get a chance to read it eventually.


Not sure I want to re-read it, at least not yet, but I agree that it's a book that has to be examined in-depth to get at all the meanings. It definitely wasn't what I expected.


Anna--I read it a few years ago so enough time had passed and I had forgotten details of the story. I was an usual persepctive of the war, wasn't it?

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