A Month in the Country

A book review of James Lloyd Carr’s A Month in the Country.

This paper summarizes and reviews Carr’s story about a young shell-shocked war veteran who arrives in Yorkshire village of Oxgodby to restore a medieval mural in the local church. The paper explains that the 14th century mural was hidden beneath layers of paint and is used to symbolize the hidden real self of the protagonist. Everything is told from the viewpoint of the narrator, Tom Birkin, who comes to this small countryside after he has been through horrible experiences, i.e. war and a broken marriage. It tells how his soul is severely scarred ,and there appears to be no way out of the horrible psychological condition that he has developed after the war. Coming to the countryside is part of the healing process that the narrator undergoes, and he finally finds peace with himself and the reality of his situation.
“The story itself is simple but the way it is told makes all the difference. While on the surface it might sound like another story concerning a war veteran and his nightmares, but underneath the mediocrity of the plot, likes brilliant narrative and a writing style that reminds us of Romantic poets. In fact the author himself concurs that his initial intention was to write something on the lines of English Romantic poetry. However what he ends up creating is both a great romantic tale and a powerful story about soul searching and healing.”