About the book
A damaged survivor of the First World War, Tom Birkin finds refuge in the quiet village church of Oxgodby where he is to spend the summer uncovering a huge medieval wall-painting. Immersed in the peace and beauty of the countryside and the unchanging rhythms of village life he experiences a sense of renewal and belief in the future. Now an old man, Birkin looks back on the idyllic summer of 1920, remembering a vanished place of blissful calm, untouched by change, a precious moment he has carried with him through the disappointments of the years. Adapted into a 1987 film starring Colin Firth, Natasha Richardson and Kenneth Branagh, A Month in the Country traces the slow revival of the primeval rhythms of life so cruelly disorientated by the Great War.
Reviewed by K.Y.C. Ladies Reading Group:
Here we have descriptive writing in minute detail but with no wasted words, with each character decisively drawn and each situation deepening Birkin’s understanding of the community and himself. It is a story of interaction between Birkin, a man damaged by war, the long-dead ghost whose work is gradually revealed and the community, in which anything he has known and the warmth of the long days of summer which act as a catalyst to heal and send him and others whom he touched optimistically into the future.