Each chapter in de Berniere’s latest novel is spoken by a significant character. Each character adds to the plot, but the main character is clearly Daniel Pitt, WWI hero, husband, father, brother and friend. Throughout this fine, wonderfully written novel which starts after WWI and ends in the middle of WWII, Daniel always tries to do the right thing. However, with a frigid wife who uses her religion to get what she wants, a son who can barely tolerate him, a crazy mother-in-law and an alcoholic brother, it is often difficult for morality to win out.
Many of the characters in So Much Life Left Over were in de Berniere’s novel, The Dust that Falls from Dreams. For me, it was great getting reacquainted with them and discovering what happened to them after The Great War.
Like many family sagas, So Much Life Left Over has a number of characters, and it takes some time to sort them out, but I think it’s well worth it.