I approached this book with an open mind. I love historical fiction but was wary in case the story centred too much on the fox hunting. As it turns out, the author covers a wide range of life as he experienced it during the first 16 years of the 20th century.It made me long, as most historical fiction does, to live in those time (before the war of course). A smaller world, driven by need and availabilty, not greed and money as we are now. His life unravels to the backdrop of riding horses, playing cricket and attending local events.When we move on to the war, the horror builds as he loses more and more friends to the pointless waste of an unwinnable conflict.
Throughout, even in the tranches, he notices the beauty of nature, and this is worth remembering if anyone is put off by the fox hunting theme. It is a book of its time, and needs to be enjoyed as such.
He is a thinking author, reflecting honestly on the changing times. He questions his faith, which gets lost and falsified, perhaps never to recover. There is plenty of observations on class differences.
I loved the way it was written; conversational and intellectual (I confess to having to look up a few words in the dictionary). I highly recommend it to anyone with a curious mind.