When I was still at school I saw some of the tv adaptation of this, and thus got the book from the library. Since then I have read this many times, and when it came to buying a new edition to replace an old battered one I was pleasantly surprised to see it was now available on kindle.
The story itself in one aspect looks simple, we follow the life of David Powlett-Jones from when he is invalided out of the army. David is invalided in the First World War, and it is decided that he will take up a teaching post, thus he is sent to a public school in Devon. From there we are taken on a journey through David's life (he is twenty two when the book starts). We are shown his ambitions and how his life progresses, through all the highs and lows. That in itself wouldn't make this book great, but also we are taken into the life of the times, with the thoughts of war, in between the wars, aspirations of the pupils and other teachers at the school, as well as the politics of the time. David comes from a Welsh family of miners and so there is quite a bit about politics and the Labour movement here.
All in all this is a great book to read that you can really get caught up in, making it probably Delderfield's most loved novel.