Toby and Elinor, brother and sister, closest friends and confidants, are sharers of a dark secret, carried from the sweltering summer of 1912 into the battlefields of France and wartime London in 1917.
Then, when Toby is reported 'Missing, Believed Killed', another secret casts a lengthening shadow over Elinor's world: how exactly did Toby die - and why? Elinor's fellow art student Kit Neville, recently returned from the war with his face destroyed, was there in the fox-hole when Toby met his fate, but he is in no mood to talk. Enlisting the help of former lover Paul Tarrant, Elinor determines to uncover the truth. Only then will she be able finally to close the door to Toby's room.
Moving from the Slade School of Art before the First World War to Queen Mary's Hospital, where surgery and art intersect in the attempt to rebuild the shattered faces of the wounded, Toby's Room is a riveting drama of identity and damage, of intimacy and loss. It is Pat Barker's most powerful novel yet.