Farewell to Arms is based primarily during the Italian campaign of World War One and concludes in various quant towns in Switzerland. It is the simple story of a love affair between a young American, Frederic Henry, serving as a Lieutenant, “Tenente”, in the Italian Ambulance Corps and a British nurse, Catherine Barkley. It has a little bit of everything, childish, fraternal humor, battle, and love.
I can only speak from my own perspective. It has been years since I’ve spent any time with Hemmingway but what astounds me is his amazing ability to engage me and keep me hooked in his incredibly simple narratives. He does not use lofty vocabulary or complex prose. His writing consists primarily of basic, everyday events and conversation. However, he is exceptionally descriptive and has the ability to draw me in and make me feel that I am a part of the story; a fly on the wall during every battle and romantic encounter. Hemmingway truly displays an amazing skill in this regard.
If you’re interested in spending a few days in a true American classic, then pick up this book at your local library.