As mentioned with All Quiet on the Western Front, I have been on a World War I kick. This is set during the war but it does flash forward to 1978. Not only is this a war story, but it is a love story which in itself is somewhat a war story.
The protagonist is Stephen Wraysford. As the novel opens he leaves England to visit a factory in France. While he lives with the factory owner's family, he has an affair with the wife. Eventually they leave together, but when she discovers she is pregnant she leaves him. The other story involves their granddaughter in 1978. The remaining six sections of the book go back and forth with World War I and Elizabeth's search to find out more about her grandfather.
The tragedy of the war is compounded with the tragedy of Stephen's life. At times the book is truly heartbreaking.
"No one in England knows what this is like. If they could see the way these men live they would not believe their eyes. The is not a war, this is an exploration of how far men can be degraded."