This story is about Charles Rainier, a man who went to WWI and became shell-shocked. He cannot remember 3 years of his life. He is a successful and influential business man that is elected to Parliament. None of this could have been done without his elegant, clever and beautiful wife. Yet despite all of his success, he knows there is something missing in his life. Something that he can't quite put his finger on. Something from those missing three years.
This was my first book club pick and I am still so happy I picked it. Looking back through the book, I am reminded why I liked it. First of all the way it was written. Most stories are from the point of view of the main characters. Not this one, the opening pages are from the point of view of a (so-it-seems) random man on the train. He is watching Charles and is intrigued by him. They enter into discussion and soon become friends. Everything is from his point of view or told in third person, like he's relating the story back to us. Second, I really enjoyed the stark contrast between Charles rich and entertained but slightly empty life to the one he discovers he had in those three years. He was very poor but so very happy. Third, I love that the closing line is the clencher for the whole book. James Hilton keeps you in anticipation up to the very last second.
For the book club I did a very English dinner. Nothing to outstanding, but I am proud of the keepsake I gave everyone. Since this was a book about lost memories I gave everyone a small memory box with a smaller picture of our book club.