Life Class - PAT BARKER In Life Class, Pat Barker explores the nexus between art and war. The first half of the book concerns three young people studying in a prestigious art school in London. These students are suffering from the anxieties typical of youth. Class barriers, the pressures of the school's demands, their professional futures, and ever at the forefront, their sexual desires? They spend their time going from class to cafe to night club ignoring the war clouds on the horizon. When it becomes impossible to ignore, it presents a way to question the purpose of art given such death and destruction. Each character finds a different way to answer the question.

The second half of the book takes us into the hell of war in the front line hospitals and the trenches of World War I. Each young friend must find their own way through this dreadful time. Along the way they will find themselves leaving their former selves behind. The core of this book is how people are changed by what they see, how they behave, and how their relationships will survive, or not. Good book.