Publication: 29th October 2020 – Simon & Schuster UK
They need him to remember. He wants to forget.
1918. In the last week of the First World War, a uniformed soldier is arrested in Durham Cathedral. When questioned, it becomes clear he has no memory of who he is or how he came to be there.
The soldier is given the name Adam and transferred to a rehabilitation home. His doctor James is determined to recover who this man once was. But Adam doesn’t want to remember. Unwilling to relive the trauma of war, Adam has locked his memory away, seemingly for good.
When a newspaper publishes a feature about Adam, three women come forward, each claiming that he is someone she lost in the war. But does he believe any of these women? Or is there another family out there waiting for him to come home?
Based on true events, When I Come Home Again is a deeply moving and powerful story of a nation’s outpouring of grief, and the search for hope in the aftermath of war.
Prepare the tissues and immerse yourself in this beautiful novel about a man with no memory of his identity and his past, about the doctor who wants to help him while, at the same time, battling his own ghosts, about the three women who hope that that anonymous man is the loved one they have been looking for.
I love Caroline Scott’s writing style. She captures me with the detailed and evocative descriptions, the incredible authentic characters, and the accuracy of the historical facts. World War I is over, but families are still grieving and looking for someone they lost. In the author’s previous novel, The Photographer of the Lost, we saw families paying someone to go on the battlefields and take a picture of the place where their loved one is buried, far away from home. In When I Come Home Again, we read about parents, wives, sisters, brothers, sons, and daughters who are still wondering if their loved one is alive. And that hope is so big that, when the picture of a soldier with no memory appears on the newspaper, many people see in him their son, brother, or husband.
Adam’s story is heartbreaking. A soldier with no name, found wandering by Durham Cathedral. The trauma of the war is so big and shocking that his brain completely shut down, taking all his memories away. He is taken to a rehabilitation house, Fellside House. James Haworth is the doctor who wants to help Adam recover his memories, but he has his own memories from the war to face, memories that give him nightmares and are threatening his marriage. Celia, Anna, and Lucy know that their loved ones didn’t die in the war and one day they will come home. After seeing Adam’s picture on the newspaper, each knows that he is her son, brother, husband. But which one is right?
When I Come Home Again is a haunting and emotional story. The author explores the effects of the war not only on the soldiers, but on their families, too. Adam’s story is the story of many other soldiers. At Fellside House, he is surrounded by other patients suffering from PTSD. The doctor curing them keeps dreaming of the battlefield. Celia, Anna, and Lucy are not the only family members who never stopped hoping.
As I said, don’t forget the tissues, because tears will come, because the story is unique, intense, engrossing, moving, it’s a story that I won’t forget.
A huge thank you to SJ and Simon & Schuster for providing me with a proof of this book.