Over there. . . and over the top. . . in a traditional, expansive novel of World War ii deployed with professional skill and centering around a number of Toms, Dicks and Jetties but in particular the two Talbot brothers, Vic and Aubrey, and two other young men from their village. All join up with a bravura gallantry, not ""just fame. . . glory"" which dims through the long months and years to come. Certainly Vic, whose volatile showoffmanship ends with the war and his turndown of a Military Cross; while brother Aubrey, a quieter type, refuses his superior's command (to attack), falls in love with Diana who becomes a nurse behind the lines (the primary thrust here is in and around the Ypres section), and barely survives to return to her. There's a definite courage behind the lines, a certain sentimentality between them, and even if the characterization is at best an assumption, it all reads with the proficiency which comes with long practice.