Maia's Reviews > War Damage

War Damage by Elizabeth Wilson
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's review
Sep 23, 2010

it was ok
bookshelves: mystery-crime, very-very-brit
Recommended for: postwar fiction fans
Read in August, 2010

Another of those books I'd give 2.5 stars. This is a solid, well-created piece of fiction, lauded as a mystery but more psychological drama, which, nonetheless, for me never quite hit the mark. It's set in postwar London--and the city in this particular time is well described--a period (and place) I've read a lot about, but somehow it never feels 100% authentic (not if you've read, as I have, a lot of books about the time actually written at that time). Ostensibly, it's about people who have been transformed by the rather surreal experience of living through WWII (an obsession with the Brits which is by now wearing thin) and now can't keep up with how these lives have to be transformed yet again to the 'reality' of postwar peacetime. Problem is, most of these characters are clearly drawn from 21st C human perceptions (take the apparent 'beauty' and her feminist insights or the over-the-top gay man) and thus don't totally ring true. In the end, the most interesting insight is what precisely constitutes 'damage' and how is it possible for such damage to be healed, if at all.

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