Regret to Inform You

Written by Derek Jarrett
Review by Christoph Fischer

Regret To Inform You pulled me in with its first page: a charmingly drawn plan of the fictitious village of Rusfield, a sketch that shows where everyone lived in relation to each other. With its simplicity, it served as a clever reminder of all the lost innocence a war causes. I got an instant sense of how much damage will be done. The book chronicles World War I and the world between 1912 and 1919, at home and at the front.

An ensemble cast illustrates the manifold ways the war affected lives, communities, families, friends and lovers. Although not unique in this approach and theme, it is, however, very well done.

The story and its wonderfully chosen characters swayed me effortlessly, despite my scepticism when I was first given the book to review. The poppies on the cover seemed too obvious a choice and do not do justice to the effort that went into the plot, the characters and the writing.

The book leaves you with a sense of hope and goodness, and should resonate well with fans of WWI fiction.