According to academic critic Karin Westman, Regeneration was "well received by reviewers in both the UK and the United States." Beyond frequent praise, the main points discussed often related to the veracity of Barker's depiction of the War period and about her role as a woman writer, along with the connections of this work to her previous novels. Westman argues that many of these critics judged Barker's work on "content rather than style", so that this work allowed her to break from her earlier classification as a regional, working-class feminist into the "(male) canon of British literature". The novel was even one of the "best novels of 1992", according to the New York Times.
Writing in 2001, Westman describes the novel selling well in the ten years since its publication. She also notes that the novels success was likely due to an increased interest in "remembrance" of the Great War, the success of the subsequent novels in the trilogy, and its appeal to a wide variety of readers. Subsequently, the 1997 film adaptation also succeeded in the United Kingdom and Canada receiving several rewards. However, the film was not successful in the United States and Westman attributes this to poor timing and a small distribution.