Life Class

Front Cover
Doubleday, 2007 - Fiction - 311 pages
16 Reviews
From the Booker Prize–winning author of The Regeneration Trilogy, an acknowledged masterpiece of modern fiction, Life Class is an exceptional new novel of artists and lovers caught in the maelstrom of the Great War.

It is the spring of 1914 and a group of young students have gathered in an art studio for a life-drawing class. Paul Tarrant and Elinor Brooke are two parts of an intriguing love triangle and, in the first days of war, they turn to each other. As spring turns to summer, Paul volunteers for the Belgian Red Cross and tends to wounded, dying soldiers from the front line. By the time he returns, Paul must confront the fact that life and love will never be the same for him again.

In Life Class, Pat Barker returns to her most renowned subject: the human devastation and psychic damage wrought by World War One on all levels of British society. Her skill in relaying the harrowing experience of modern warfare is matched by the depth of insight she brings to the experience of love and the morality of art in a time of war. Life Class is one of her genuine masterpieces.

What people are saying - Write a review

User ratings

5 stars
4 stars
3 stars
2 stars
1 star

The ending is perfect. - Goodreads
Pretty unsatisfying ending though. - Goodreads
There is none of that conveyed in the prose. - Goodreads

Review: Life Class

User Review  - RJ Lynch - Goodreads

Thank you, Pat Barker. I really enjoyed this book. Pat Barker knows her period well, but she never lets the weight of her research overpower the writing. This reader was drawn in from the first page ... Read full review

Review: Life Class

User Review  - Carol - Goodreads

Loosely based on the group of war artists tutored by Henry Tonks at The Slade, Barker creates a contrasting two parter. Part One tells of some pretty indulged lifestyles and some frivolous shenanigans ... Read full review

About the author (2007)

PAT BARKER is the of author Regeneration; The Eye in the Door, winner of the Guardian Fiction Prize; and The Ghost Road, winner of the Booker Prize; as well as seven other novels. She lives in England.

Bibliographic information