The Return of the Soldier


187 pages
ISBN 0-919630-65-0





Reviewed by Joan McGrath

Joan McGrath is a Toronto Board of Education library consultant.


Shell-shocked during the worst days of the Great War, Captain Chris Baldry returns to his stately home and to Kitty, the graceful and beautiful wife who waits for him; but he has forgotten her. Somehow he has slipped into the happier past, into the days of his youth 15 years before when he loved Margaret, an innkeeper’s daughter. She is now a dowdy housewife, living a mean life in a dreary little suburb, but Chris sees nothing of this. Margaret is everything of worth to him; and she, who loves him in return, must tear her heart if he is to be “cured,” to be made well enough to go back to the hell of the trenches. Jenny, Chris’s cousin, whose own quiet, unrecognized love lends her a sure insight into the workings of pain, love, and sacrifice, tells the story from within and yet forever without. First published in 1918, this is a delicate and lovely early work of a writer who was to accomplish great things over a long and very full career.


West, Rebecca, “The Return of the Soldier,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed June 23, 2024,