GMA BUZZ PICK • INTERNATIONAL BEST SELLER • A haunting, virtuosic debut novel about two young men who fall in love during World War I • “Dazzling and wrenching, witty and wildly romantic, with echoes of Brideshead Revisited and Atonement.” —Lev Grossman, best-selling author of The Magicians
“In Memoriam is the story of a great tragedy, but it is also a moving portrait of young love, and there is often a lightness to the book.”—The New York Times
“A devastating love story…Gaunt and Ellwood will live in your mind long after you’ve closed the final pages.” —Maggie O’Farrell, best-selling author of Hamnet and The Marriage Portrait
It’s 1914, and World War I is ceaselessly churning through thousands of young men on both sides of the fight. The violence of the front feels far away to Henry Gaunt, Sidney Ellwood and the rest of their classmates, safely ensconced in their idyllic boarding school in the English countryside. News of the heroic deaths of their friends only makes the war more exciting.
Gaunt, half German, is busy fighting his own private battle--an all-consuming infatuation with his best friend, the glamorous, charming Ellwood--without a clue that Ellwood is pining for him in return. When Gaunt's family asks him to enlist to forestall the anti-German sentiment they face, Gaunt does so immediately, relieved to escape his overwhelming feelings for Ellwood. To Gaunt's horror, Ellwood rushes to join him at the front, and the rest of their classmates soon follow. Now death surrounds them in all its grim reality, often inches away, and no one knows who will be next.
An epic tale of both the devastating tragedies of war and the forbidden romance that blooms in its grip, In Memoriam is a breathtaking debut.