Sunday, March 23, 2014

To Serve Them All My days by R.F. Delderfield

To Serve Them All My Days3 1/2 Stars

I think I deserve one of those shiny silver stickers on my forehead for getting through all 678 pages! My paperback was literally falling apart in my hands and needed frequent sticky tape first aid as I read.

As my friends know, I love chunky sagas and epics but I'll be honest with you. You could EASILY chop 200 pages off this without affecting the story one iota.

IN A NUTSHELL: A shell shock soldier ( WW1) is discharged from a lengthy hospital stay and is encouraged to take a post at a boys boarding school by his neurologist. What follows is 20 years as a teacher and mentor and how one school gave a shell of a man a new lease on life and reason to live.

The first half was 5 stars for me but I wish his first wife could have held up a bit longer (I'm not spoiling it, its in the description and come on, it covers 20 years so nothing is permanent) I really liked her a lot and wished things could have been different. His future love interests I didn't care for so much.

One character is very into politics and my eyes start glazing over when you mention Tories and liberals, so you can imagine I found these bits hard going. The school subjects/methods also got a little tedious after a while but it is a book about a boarding school so what did I expect, right? For anyone in the education field this book would be fascinating.

I really loved the stories about the individual boys and their escapades. Their nicknames were entertaining as well. I come from a family where no one uses anyone's real names and we have nicknames for everyone else we know too (some know it and most don't!) so I could relate to this. Some nicknames:

Matron. Heavy, full busted and highly corseted: MA FENDER
Student with one missing *ahem* appendage: LACKANACKER
Teacher with one toe missing and a rolling gait: TUMBLER
Teacher with comaraderie classroom discussions: POW-WOW
The list goes on and on....

The writing itself is very readable and the characters well portrayed and individualistic. It's a good story and worth reading.
But I'm glad I'm done. :)


SEX: Fade to black
PROFANITY: Moderate. D, B, H


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