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Non Combatants and Others

3.38  ·  Rating details ·  47 Ratings  ·  5 Reviews

Rose Macaulay’s powerfully felt pacifist novel of World War I records the suffering and passion of Alix Sandomir’s rebellion against the foolishness of her fellow noncombatants. The year is 1915, and Alix moves from her cousins’ home in the country to the suburban villa "Violette" with its impervious, engrossed household. There a gallery of preoccupied characters, drawn wi

Published (first published February 13th 1916)
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Dec 31, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017
The most interesting thing about this book is the context in which it was written, the knowledge that every observation and opinion was informed by events of the time and not influenced by any benefit of hindsight. For this I believe it is very much worth a read.

I found the story itself to be meandering and clumsy. Only a few times did I find it particularly compelling. Sometimes events seemed just to happen in order to set up a discussion but only occasionally did I find any argument persuasiv
Jun 02, 2018 rated it really liked it
There is a bit of pointless meandering near the end of the book where she seems to lose focus, so not quite a 5 star effort - but if you need to be reminded about what a horrific waste of life WWI was, this is a must-read. There's some fairly pitiless skewering of stupid young women, too.
Jul 28, 2014 rated it it was ok
An interesting read, especially at is was actually written and published in 1916, right in the middle of the First World War. No "looking back" and "with the benefit of hindsight" here. Sometimes it felt like I was reading a political pamphlet rather than a novel (especially towards the end) but there were some sensitively written and affecting sections too.
Mar 18, 2012 rated it it was ok
I thought this was just an ok book. I would not recommend it unless some is seriously interested in the Great War and its affects on English women. I thing the most insightful character in the book was Nicholas, the protagonist's elder brother. So if you bother to read this novel, pay close attention to what he says.
Rose Macaulay is an underrated and underread writer. This early novel about a young woman's political awakening during World War I is a brilliant character study and an insightful commentary about gender roles in wartime. I think it's out of print, but if you can get your hands on a copy, I definitely recommend it!
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Emilie Rose Macaulay, whom Elizabeth Bowen called "one of the few writers of whom it may be said, she adorns our century," was born at Rugby, where her father was an assistant master. Descended on both sides from a long line of clerical ancestors, she felt Anglicanism was in her blood. Much of her childhood was spent in Varazze, near Genoa, and memories of Italy fill the early novels. The family r ...more