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So Much Life Left Over

(The Dust That Falls from Dreams #2)

3.79  ·  Rating details ·  865 ratings  ·  174 reviews
Kindle Edition, 288 pages
Published July 5th 2018 by Vintage Digital
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Dorothy I did but I find that this novel stands alone and could be read out of order.
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3.79  · 
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 ·  865 ratings  ·  174 reviews

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Louis de Bernieres writes a beautiful, emotionally heart tugging, often humorous, epic look at the lives that survived the horrors and losses of WW1, focusing on the inter war years and the human costs incurred at the beginning of WW2. In what is a relatively short novel, a large cast of characters, their lives, decisions and behaviour are portrayed as times change. Half French Captain Daniel Pitt, well known ace fighter pilot, had never expected to survive the war, and has to resolve the quandr ...more
Aug 04, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I may well have enjoyed this book more had I realised it was book two of a series with the Novel The Dust That Falls from DreamsThe Dust That Falls from Dreams by Louis de Bernières being the first in the Series by Louis de Bernieres.
I picked this one up in hard copy and it didn't state that it was part of a series on the jacket or in the premise which seemed a shame. I found the book very difficult to get into and could not keep track of the characters until half ways through the novel. I was confused by who was who and I didn't find the charac
A warm-hearted saga of two families recovering from World War 1 and catching up with the modernism of the age. Daniel is a half-Brit, half-French man who was an aviator in the war and now runs a tea plantation and factory in Ceylon (Sri Lanka after independence in 1947). His wife Rosie, who met him as a nurse, tries to be happy as a mother to their daughter, managing the household, and promoting better conditions for the poor native workers, such as sanitation projects and volunteering at a clin ...more
Jul 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
Daniel was a legendary WWI Flying Ace, a survivor of the war now facing an immensity of endless days filled with trivialities. As a tea manufacturer in Ceylon, he has the company of Hugh who was also a pilot in the war, and a bright future in an exotic land. Daniel's wife Rosie is pregnant with their second child.

After the war, Daniel's brother Archie went to India, He is a risk taker and a drunk, in love with Rosie who married Daniel after her fiance died in the war. Rosie's sister Otillie in
Aug 28, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"If you have been embroiled in a war in which you confidently expected to die, what were you supposed to do with so much life unexpectedly left over?"

That's the question Louis de Bernières seeks to answer in SO MUCH LIFE LEFT OVER, his second novel about the McCosh and Pitt families and their extended circle of friends, neighbors, servants, comrades, and others. The preceding novel, THE DUST THAT FALLS FROM DREAMS, followed his large and varied cast of characters during the First World War and t
Jul 03, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This story sneaked up on me and its full impact didn't hit me until the final chapters. Throughout the reading of more than two thirds of this, I was wondering why I was supposed to care about the characters. They felt shallow, unsympathetic, unlikeable, somewhat petty, living superficial, privileged lives. But the more I read, the more I began to suspect that this was perhaps the author's intention. These people had been intensely involved in WWI and now it's 1920 at the beginning of the book. ...more
Jan 05, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
This is a book with a complex storyline and many different characters. Upon reading it I didn't realise it's actually a sequel to another book "The Dust That Falls From Dreams". I don't feel like I missed anything by not having read the previous book, but on the other hand I did struggle at the beginning of the book to get the hang of all the characters and who they are, because there are so many.

The characters are all members of the same family, or connected to the family. The main character is
Aug 08, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
So much book left over.

When authors come to the second volume in a trilogy, they sometimes manage a subtly interwoven catch-up which is much appreciated by those of us with less than stellar memories. Unfortunately, this is not the case here. But no matter because a desperately sad and really rather gruesome event early on in the book prevented me from going any further.

Apologies, therefore, for not being able to provide a more substantial review and my thanks to Harvill Secker for the ARC via
Erika Robuck
Aug 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Prepare for infatuation and heartbreak. 

In SO MUCH LIFE LEFT OVER, the reader holds in her hands an entire world where she will become intimates of the men and women on the pages. These characters are both traumatized and cause trauma. They make awful decisions--from the small and foolish to the epically cataclysmic--and yet they are profoundly endearing because of their enormous capacities for love. 

De Bernieres titles each chapter, making little stories of them. Narrators and points of view ch
Mary Lins
Jun 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: complete
After I finished reading, "The Dust That Falls from Dreams", I expressed my hope that Louis de Bernieres would follow it with a sequel, as I wasn't ready to let those marvelous characters go. Well, de Bernieres' latest novel, "So Much Life Left Over", is indeed a sequel, and I'm ecstatic! It follows the form of its predecessor beautifully; a sumptuous cast of characters, well-researched and compelling historical back-ground, exotic locals (India! Ceylon! Kent!) and short chapters to propel the n ...more
Vivian Stevenson
Thank you to Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group | Pantheon for allowing me to read an eARC of this. Unfortunately, I got to it very late.
The good news is that I really enjoyed it. I read it in one day, and couldn't seem to put it down. It is the second book in the series, but I didn't seem to have trouble with that. I may even pick up the first one just to see if I actually missed anything.
You follow a cast of characters, which are developed quite well. The main ones are Rosie, Daniel, and their
Moving, intimate, assured - full review to follow
Aug 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I have been a huge fan of Louis De B ever since he was named as one Granta's Best of Young British Novelists back in 1993. It has been a delight to see how his career has progressed and I have loved everything he has written. ‘So Much Life Left Over’ has not disappointed. It is a captivating and absorbing book both humorous and tragic. What I particularly loved were the small cameos of characters from De B’s other novels, ‘Captain Corelli’s Mandolin’ and ‘Notwithstanding’; delightful.

The novel i
Sarah Epton
My utter frustration with this book came down to characters. I didn't believe any of them. I didn't believe they grew up when they did. I didn't believe they were products of the great war. The dialog was wrong. Their preoccupations didn't ring true. I kept coming back to the conviction that the author wrote a sprawling domestic drama set in, maybe, the 1970s, and then went, no, this needs some period spice! and haphazardly splashed some interwar details around. There were unforgiveable moments ...more
Jan 18, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An excellent sequel to The Dust that Falls from Dreams. This book covers the inter wars years and how the family members cope with making adjustments to their way of life.
It is beautifully written and you can really get to know all the characters. Each has a different lifestyle which makes the book so interesting. I was sorry when it finshed!
Dave Szostak
A continuation, or sequel, of the familial lives found in The Dust That Falls From Dreams, but at half the length, making this feel more like brief glimpses and scattered episodes rather than a cohesive whole. The result is a fast read but one less entrancing than its predecessor, though it does not stint on the tragedy.
Jul 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Jasmine Clifton
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Megan Jones
Aug 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Rosie and Daniel have moved to Ceylon with their young daughter to start a new life at the dawn of the 1920s, attempting to put the trauma of the First World War behind them, and to rekindle a marriage that grows increasingly colder. However, even in their new life, it is hard for them to escape the ties of home and the yearning for fulfilment that threatens their marriage. Back in England, Rosie’s three sisters are dealing with different challenged in their searches for family, purpose and happ ...more
Viviane Crystal
Aug 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Daniel Pitt longs for the glory days when he was a Flying Ace in WWII. The camaraderie of his fellow pilots and avoidance of petty squabbles because of the daily reality that some will live and others will die every time they take to the air in battle. Now, the war is over and he is married to Rosie, a former wartime nurse. They live in Ceylon, which Daniel loves and Rosie hates. They have two children whom Daniel adores. Rosie is continuously demanding they return to live in England and Daniel ...more
So Much Life left Over is a captivating and compelling historical fiction novel. The story takes place between the end of WWI and the beginning of WWII.

Daniel Pitt was an RAF ace pilot. When WWI ended, Daniel settled in Ceylon with his wife, Rosie, and their daughter. The family was happy there, for a few years, until the second child was born deformed, and died, shortly after birth. Both Rosie and Daniel grieved their deceased baby. Rosie wrapped herself in religion to survive her overwhelming
Sophie Childs
Dec 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It's been a long time since I'd read any Louis de Bernieres, so when I got the chance to read "So Much Life Left Over" from Netgalley, I jumped at it.

This is a beautiful, bittersweet, moving novel that follows the lives of various members of a family and their associated friends from Ceylon back to the UK with a side trip to Germany over a period spanning the early to mid twentieth century.

If you love de Bernieres' writing, you won't be disappointed by this. It's sad and you may well shed a tear
Nov 12, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: r-pfr
It takes a while to figure out what So Much Life Left Over by Louis de Bernieres is about and what it is not. The description speaks about lives upended by World War I, but this book is more about relationships than the war. The cover image depicts Ceylon and India, but the book returns fairly early on Britain. Ultimately, this story is Daniel's, and it is this story that keeps me reading until its ending, which seems poised to ask again the question that the story initially poses.

Read my compl
Sue Myers
A very short historical novel describing the lives of Daniel Pitt and his extended family after the ending of WWI. After the trauma of the war, Daniel and Rosie marry and move to Ceylon and manage a tea factory. Their love dies and Rosie insists on moving back to England. Because she will take the children whom Daniel loves dearly, he goes back with her. She refuses to let Daniel see his children and will not give him a divorce. Through these tragic circumstances, there are some very humorous pa ...more
Mrs Mommy Booknerd
#FirstLine ~ The crackle of gunshots bounced between the mountainsides, the percussion fading with each return echo.

This book was very well written and drawn out. The story was heartbreaking, compelling and original. It is a story that crosses time and distance while showing how friendships ebb and flow, how life can make us feel things so very deeply, makes us face things head on and inevitably force us to continue on. A great read and one that will make you think long after you close the page.
Aug 21, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed this story and was surprised to read that it was part two of a trilogy. Have now downloaded part I to read on a long flight!
Louis de Bernières' use of the English language is always a great pleasure. Plus, I learn the odd new word here and there! I could imagine all the weird and wonderful people of all ages, plus some "normal" ones, who populate this story.
Very much enjoyed it. Recommend.
Linda Wilson
Aug 10, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm not sure what I was expecting of this book, but in the end I really enjoyed it. Set mainly between the 2 world wars, it is the story of Daniel Pitt and his family. It starts in Ceylon, where Daniel and his wife, Rosie, and young daughter, have started a new life after the war. Back in England, their families are also looking for ways to move forward after the losses of the conflict. The best thing about this book is the abundance of wonderful, well observed characters. How can you not love a ...more
Cynthia Archer
Aug 23, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I loved it, and then it ended. Please say there is another book coming! I can't stand not knowing more about Daniel and his family.
Michael Tweed
May 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Charming and sensitive.
Jane Gregg
Sep 25, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Loved it. There’s something really satisfying about LDB - and part 2 of the this marvellously rich trilogy does not disappoint. Sigh - now to wait for part the third.
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Play Book Tag: So Much Life Left Over - de Bernieres - 4 stars 4 17 Feb 25, 2019 12:27PM  

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Novelist Louis de Bernières was born in London in 1954. He joined the army at 18 but left after spending four months at Sandhurst. After graduating from the Victoria University of Manchester, he took a postgraduate certificate in Education at Leicester Polytechnic and obtained his MA at the University of London.

Before writing full-time, he held many varied jobs including landscape gardener, motor

Other books in the series

The Dust That Falls from Dreams (2 books)
  • The Dust That Falls from Dreams
“No one is every only one thing. Inside one person there are so many different people, and quite often they're at war with each other, and sometimes one of them is winning, and sometimes another. We're all so hard to understand, aren't we? I don't even understand myself.” 1 likes
“If you have been embroiled in a war in which you confidently expected to die, what were you supposed to do with so much life unexpectedly left over? There were so many ways of passing the peace, and you would never know what they would have been like, those roads not taken.” 0 likes
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