Search Me!

Friday, September 18, 2009

To Serve Them All My Days by R.F. Delderfield

To Serve Them All My Days
Publisher: Sourcebooks Landmark
ISBN: 1402218249
Pages: 608 pgs
Genre: Historical Fiction/England
Challenges-Read’n’Review Challenge, 100+ Reading Challenge

Publisher's Description:

"R.F. Delderfield is a born storyteller." — Sunday Mirror

The beloved classic saga from master author R. F. Delderfield, subject of a landmark BBC miniseries.

To Serve Them All My Days is the moving saga of David Powlett-Jones, who returns from World War I injured and shell-shocked. He is hired to teach history at Bamfylde School, where he rejects the formal curriculum and teaches the causes and consequences of the Great War.

Eventually David earns the respect of his students and many of his fellow teachers, against the backdrop of a country struggling to redefine itself. As David falls in love and finds himself on track to possibly take on the headmaster role, he must search to find the strength to hold true to his beliefs as the specter of another great war looms.

To Serve Them All My Days is a brilliant picture of England between the World Wars, as the country comes to terms with the horrors of the Great War and the new forces reshaping the British government and society.

Subject of a Landmark BBC Miniseries

Includes Bonus Reading Group Guide

My Review:

I didn't quite know what to do with this book when I started it. It was huge and rather intimidating and even though Delderfield is familiar to me, his books aren't. I have scene the miniseries but the book was a little bit scary to start with. I found that once I started the scared feeling faded away.

I love boarding school dramas. It was always a secret dream of mine to go away to boarding school. Sadly I was stuck in horrific catholic schools for the majority of my education. I have always been intrigued by boarding school politics and the inclusive atmosphere that forms when a group of people are forced to exist together for an extended period of time. The boarding school atmosphere of the books was the best part. The characters and situations kept me interested through the whole reading experience.

David was one of my favorite parts of this book. He was such an intelligent and interesting character. I loved watching him acclimate into Bamfylde School, fight with other teachers and headmasters and fall in love. I loved his conflicts with Carter. They were like two kids having a pushing match in the playground. My favorite character was Grace, David's daughter. She was spunky and vivacious character. I wish there had been more of her in the book.

The language was lush and descriptive. A big attraction for me. It definitely made the book as good as it is. This may not work so well for other readers who like their books to have less description. I found that it did not overwhelm but it can definitely seem overwhelming but I quite enjoyed the descriptions.

Sourcebooks did a great job with this book. The covers for these Delderfield reissues are wonderful. They are they perfect mix of black and white with a splash of color and really reflect the atmosphere of the novel. I am definitely going to follow the rest of these reissues as they come out.
*A copy of this book was provided to me by the publisher for review. My opinion is my own and has not been influenced in any way and any monies made from associate or affiliate accounts are recycled back into the blog.


  1. Sounds like he won you over with that book. Glad you like it. I might add his name to my ever growing book list someday. Lovely blog.

  2. I too loved the idea of boarding school. Unfortunately, my parent's didn't :)

    Lovely book review, and makes me want to try this book..

    Btw, I have an award for you. Hop on over to collect the "Stylish Blogger" award from my blog!

  3. [...] really enjoyed God Is an Englishman perhaps even more than To Serve Them All My Days. It was more of a romance and drama than To Serve Them All My Days. I also got quite a bit more [...]

  4. [...] Beg, Borrow, Steal: A Writer’s Life-Michael Greenberg 57.The Holy Bullet-Luis Miguel Rocha 58. To Serve Them All My Days-R.F. Delderfield 59. Bending Toward the Sun-Leslie Gilbert Lurie 60. God Is an Englishman-R.F. [...]



Blog Template by In Between Design Studio