SOMETIMES you come across a novel which haunts you long after you have reached the final page, firmly lodged in your memory.
And memory is a key factor in this splendid offering by the renowned British author Sebastian Faulks.
The narrator is successful psychiatrist Dr Robert Hendricks who is an author and a veteran of the Anzio landings in the Second World War.
He is haunted by memories of his past experiences and Hendricks leads the reader on a moving journey through his life.
Although he has had several lovers Hendricks only companion now is his faithful dog Max but a mysterious invitation from Alexander Pereira, a retired psychiatrist living in the south of France, is the catalyst for Hendricks to embark on his odyssey.
Pereira claims to have known Hendricks' father who was killed in the First World War when Hendricks was just a child.
As Hendricks trawls through his memories, encouraged by Pereira, we re-visit his sometimes brutal war-time experiences and his encounter with his one true love, Luisa, from Genoa, whom he met after being wounded at Anzio.
Faulks is such a skilful story-teller that it is as if we are firmly planted inside Hendricks' mind, re-living his emotions fears. It is a beautiful tale, expertly crafted.