Entertainment Weekly

Stay Connected

Subscribe

Advertise With Us

Learn More

Skip to content

Article

Toby's Room - review - Pat Barker

Posted on

LOVE TRIANGLE Although Barker's writing is clear, his narrative is dreary

Toby's Room

type:
Book
Current Status:
In Season
author:
Pat Barker
publisher:
Doubleday
genre:
Fiction

We gave it a B-

Even after her acclaimed Regeneration trilogy, Barker is still fixated on WWI-era England. Her new novel Toby’s Room is both a prequel and a sequel to 2007’s Life Class, about a trio of aspiring painters in 1914 London. Elinor Brooke, the center of Life Class‘ love triangle, is preoccupied with her superclose older brother, Toby, who’s declared ”missing, believed killed” while serving in Ypres with Kit, one of her art-school suitors. Though the writing is lucid and often beautiful, the narrative tends to dither, and the final reveal delivers only a muted impact. B-

Comments