2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
This review is from: In Zodiac Light (Paperback)
It must be a challenge to write a novel set in the aftermath of the First World War, not least because it is a subject well-covered. Also, there is a danger of imbuing the text with anachronism. That is to say, Edric uses contemporary language and insight to explore PTSD. As it is based on a real hospital and a real soldier-poet, it's difficult to believe in the story. What also becomes a problem for me is the fact that the main character is a psychiatrist in 1922 yet is totally passive to the orderlies, which just wouldn't happen at that time. He also takes the patients into his confidence and discusses each of them with the other. This may seem churlish criticism but can really spoil enjoyment of this novel because the doctor doesn't seem to change. He doesn't take responsibility or try to alter the course of his charges in any way. Therefore, there doesn't feel as though the reader can make any journey. Nothing changes. Nothing happens except the inevitable institutionalising of the men.