I chose to read The Return of Captain John Emmet because it was recommended on a Book Club list and, having enjoyed so many other novels set around the time of the First World War, I liked the idea behind this novel. I also read some of the reviews on Amazon, most of which are very enthusiastic about the novel. Perhaps those factors raised my expectations and made disappointment likely. Whatever the reason, I found the characters in this novel difficult to relate to. It’s an interesting story and has potential but somehow the characters failed to engage. The plot is complex and evolves quite slowly. It’s strong enough to hold your attention and keep you reading to the end of the book but I must say I was glad to get to the end. If you are interested in reading novels about the First World War, I would recommend Sebastian Faulk’s Birdsong and Pat Barker’s Regeneration Trilogy as alternatives to this novel.