"I wanted to believe that I had some important destiny. I wanted to have a make-believe world because I couldn't bear to live in the real one"(Sebastian Faulks)
Very moving novel in the way that it drives home the unimaginable hardships experienced by soldiers on the front, though it was a bit hard for me to follow the routine activities of Stephen Wraysford and Jack Firebrace at times. the book sometimes led to boredom, especially in part 2.(made me grow impatient to get over with that book) even so, 'Birdsong' is well written and the descriptions made are very realistic, especially when Elizabeth was delivering her baby John (which left me in complete awe) and when Stephen and Jack were trapped in the tunnels after and explosion underground. that part was so well described (the anguish of the 2 men, their despair in the face of death, and the will of Stephen to survive though he was pessimistic at times) that it captivated me all the way through unlike the rest of the story. what was also saddening in this novel was the forbidden love between Isabelle Azaire and Stephen. it's not that i approve of what was happening in the red chamber, but i feel that Isabelle symbolises cowardice in that story. she first left her husband behind for a younger chap, then leaves stephen without informing him of her pregnancy and finally ends up with a German guy.
in any case, 'Birdsong' is worth reading if you want to know a bit about how people lived during World War I. I indeed found some aspects shocking for sure, but what i found particularly appealing was the realistic style of Sebastian Faulks.