Requiem for Private HughesArt student Archie Middlebrook, on national service in Malaya, is wounded in a terrorist ambush; his friend, Geraint Hughes, is killed in the explosion. Home in Somerset with his war-widowed mother, Dorothy, and family helper, Ivy, Archie won’t speak of events in Malaya. He immerses himself in manual labour for their elderly farmer neighbour, ‘Zed’ Vellacott, before having a wild, yet doomed, sexual coming-of-age with Maggie, his mother’s god-daughter. His artistic ambitions abandoned, Archie works into middle age in a department store, until he is made redundant at the hands of a young business colleague, promoted accountant Lorna. Years later, Archie lives alone, remaining friends with Ivy, his childhood minder, when Lorna dramatically re-enters the scene … with life-changing consequences.

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