A stunning, delicate portrait of a family bookended by war, Home Fires explores the legacy of loss, the strictures of class and the long road to redemption.
Max Weston, 21, leaves for his first army posting in central Africa. What happens to him changes the lives of his family forever. At home, his parents struggle to cope. The overwhelming love Caroline has always felt for her only child is now matched by the intensity of Max's absence.
The silence is broken by the arrival of Caroline's mother-in-law, Elsa, who at the age of 98 can no longer look after herself. After years of living in fear of putting a foot wrong in front of this elegant, cuttingly courteous lady, finally, Caroline has the upper hand.
"Elizabeth Day writes with unflinching, responsible honesty; I was inspired and enlightened by the deep humanity of Home Fires." (Sadie Jones)
"Day is an empathetic observer. She is meticulous in teaching and dissecting each sentence her characters experience... The prose is deliberate, precise and bone dry... Elizabeth Day pursues her study of characters attempting to keep the past at bay with a biblical intensity reminiscent of early Anita Brookner and a prose style closer to that of Pat Barker... Home Fires conveys a broader version of life with the claustrophobia of emotional repression." (Eileen Battersby, Irish Times)
"Day has created a compelling study of grief, not least the conflicting ways in which the bereaved may wish to remember the dead... A bold novel, shocking in what it confronts and also in its suggestion that love will, ultimately, survive trauma." (Daily Telegraph)