Author(s): Elizabeth Day
A stunning portrait of a family bookended by war, Home Fires explores the legacy of loss, the strictures of class, and the long road to redemption.Max Weston, twenty-one and a newly commissioned lance corporal, leaves home for his first posting in central Africa. Fiercely patriotic and a natural leader, he is eager to make a difference. He never comes back.His parents, Caroline and Andrew, are devastated by the death of their only child. Their grief threatens to overwhelm their marriage until the empty space between them is filled by the arrival of Andrew's ninety-eight-year-old mother, Elsa. Always elegant, cutting and critical of Caroline, the old woman is now disabled and disoriented. As she lies in the spare room, the past unspools in Elsa's mind, loosening fragments of her anxious childhood with her mercurial father, who returned from the Great War a changed man.Under one roof, the Westons come to understand each other in new ways, and the domestic stories of multiple generations coalesce into a potent exploration of the legacies of war and love.