by John Boyne
The Absolutist is a heart-breaking story of a man who has seen all the horror of War and how he tries to find peace in the aftermath.
Two young men Tristan Sadler and Will Bancroft train in the Army together and are dispatched to Flanders Field as part of the same squad during WW1. They share a secret and a friendship so taboo it must remain hidden. A shocking case of barbarity within their squad causes the two friends to be on opposing sides of belief where one finds himself with an unthinkable task. One of these men will survive and the other will perish under the most irregular of circumstances.
The survivor comes home and makes a trip to see his Friend’s sister to return some letters while wanting to tell her the real truth of why he is seeking her out. They spend an intense and uncomfortable afternoon which is no balm to either of them.
The manner of one death will haunt the other for all his life.
This is a tragic tale of love and War with a terrible twist that will stay in the mind leaving an enormous impact on the reader.
Reviewed by Ballymahon Library January 2021