wars provides the setting for this lengthy novel about a shell shocked young man who takes on a temporary job as a teacher and ends up spending the next 22 years gradually learning to love everything about his life as a school master, housemaster and eventually the headmaster. For those of us Anglophiles who loved Hogwarts School of Wizardy, Bamfylde is the next best thing and actually goes a long ways to helping us understand the British residential school system that provides part of the framework for the Harry Potter books. While the plot and the characterizations were a little thin in places what kept me reading was the setting and time period. Even though I didn't live through that era and certainly never attended a boys'boarding school the book left me feeling nostalgic for an England that probably only exists in books, and a way of life where no matter what happens the best way to approach it is to have a cup of tea first.
I loved this story! I was drawn into the world of an early 20th century English boarding school. A world unto itself. The story of David Powlett-Jones' beginnings there as a shell-shocked ex-WWI soldier and the ways in which his work as a teacher at the school helped him to recover from the deep emotional scars left by the war is a fascinating one. You grow to care very much for the people inhabiting his school-world and follow them through two World Wars as he grows older and matures in many ways. Best of all, the ending is very satisfying and leaves you feeling like all will be well with him and his forever. Wonderful read!