I had never heard of Pat Barker before, and read this as a monthly book group read.It is a sad story about a brother an sister, who share a very dark secret, and is set just before the First World War. The family they come from is slightly dysfunctional, but fairly well to do, and Elinor has a tempestuous relationship with her mother. Because of this she trusts her brother intimately. WW1 starts and Toby is called up, Elinaor is at art school, and sees little of her brother now. He sings up, and is joined by a fellow art student.Towards the end of the war, the family receive the standard message, that Toby is missing presumed dead. It turn out that one of Elinors fellow students was there when he died, and she is desperate to find out what happened. After some persuasion she does, and can draw a line under his life.It is a melancholy story, and I found it very readable.