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A sweeping, heartbreaking novel following Daniel in his troubled marriage with Rosie as they navigate the unsettled time between the World Wars

Rosie and Daniel have moved to Ceylon with their little daughter to start a new life at the dawn of the 1920s, attempting to put the trauma of the First World War behind them, and to rekindle a marriage that gets colder every day. However, even in the lush plantation hills it is hard for them to escape the ties of home and the yearning for fulfilment that threatens their marriage.

Back in England, Rosie's three sisters are dealing with different challenges in their searches for family, purpose and happiness. These are precarious times, and they find themselves using unconventional means to achieve their desires. Around them the world is changing, and when Daniel finds himself in Germany he witnesses events taking a dark and forbidding turn.

By turns humorous and tragic, gripping and touching, So Much Life Left Over follows a cast of unique and captivating characters as they navigate the extraordinary interwar years both in England and abroad.


De Bernieres is a singular, cherishable voice

Mail on Sunday

Richly enjoyable...Written with such vitality...many readers will read it straight through forgetting whatever it was they should have been doing instead of reading


This tragicomic romp has a winning glint in its eye, delivering oodles of Downton-esque entertainment as it portrays a changing Britain poised uneasily on the brink of modernity.

Mail on Sunday

A breathless, often heart-tugging tale of love, loss, guilt and regret

Sunday Express

This book made me laugh, made me mad, made me cry

Rose Shepherd, Saga

‘[de Bernieres] balances humour and tragedy in a novel that succeeds largely because Daniel is such a compelling and sympathetic character

Vanessa Berridge, Daily Express

de Bernieres achieves a kaleidoscope effect in his narrative… So Much Life Left Over is an immersive pleasure

Russell Leadbetter, Herald

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Formats & editions

  • Trade Paperback


    July 16, 2018

    Harvill Secker

    RRP $37.00

    Online retailers

    • Fishpond
    • Mighty Ape
    • Paper Plus
    • The Warehouse
    • Whitcoulls
    • The Nile

    Find your local bookstore at www.booksellers.co.nz/directory

  • Hardback


    July 15, 2018

    Harvill Secker

    RRP $48.00

    Online retailers

    • Fishpond
    • Mighty Ape
    • Paper Plus
    • The Warehouse
    • Whitcoulls
    • The Nile

    Find your local bookstore at www.booksellers.co.nz/directory



Gun Snap

The crackle of gunshots bounced between the mountainsides, the percussion fading with each return of echo. Daniel Pitt and Hugh Bassett sat side by side on a small level patch, playing gun snap. They had on the table before them two decks of cards, a box of ammunition and two Mark VI service revolvers. Fifteen yards away was a gibbet with two rows of six tin cans suspended from it on pieces of string.

The idea was to be the first person to put a bullet through every can. Sometimes, for a change, they went down to the valley, threw bottles out into a lake, and sank them with rifles. These were fine ways for two old fighter pilots to pass the last hour of the day as the mist rose up and supper was cooked in the bungalows.

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Also by Louis de Bernieres

Captain Corelli's Mandolin
The Dust that Falls from Dreams
Birds Without Wings
The Cat in the Treble Clef
Of Love and Desire
Imagining Alexandria
The Death of Miss Agatha Feakes (Storycuts)
Talking to George (Storycuts)
The Girt Pike (Storycuts)
A Partisan's Daughter
Sunday Morning At The Centre Of The World
The Troublesome Offspring of Cardinal Guzman
Senor Vivo & The Coca Lord
War Of Don Emmanuel's Nether Parts


The Tea Gardens
Captain Cook's Apprentice
Catch-22: 50th Anniversary Edition
The Pearler's Wife
Life After Life
Memoirs Of A Geisha
The Making of Martin Sparrow
The Falcon of Sparta
The Woman in the Wood
Our Friends in Berlin
The Overstory
War And Peace
A Rising Man
Oh, Play That Thing
Suite Francaise
For the Winner