Saturday, 9 July 2016

My Dear I Wanted to Tell You by Louisa Young


From Goodreads

While Riley Purefoy and Peter Locke fight for their country, their survival and their sanity in the trenches of Flanders, Nadine Waveney, Julia Locke and Rose Locke do what they can at home. Beautiful, obsessive Julia and gentle, eccentric Peter are married: each day Julia goes through rituals to prepare for her beloved husband’s return. Nadine and Riley, only eighteen when the war starts, and with problems of their own already, want above all to make promises - but how can they when the future is not in their hands? And Rose? Well, what did happen to the traditionally brought-up women who lost all hope of marriage, because all the young men were dead?

Moving between Ypres, London and Paris, My Dear I Wanted to Tell You is a deeply affecting, moving and brilliant novel of love and war, and how they affect those left behind as well as those who fight.

My thoughts

I gave this a 4 star or 8/10.

The story is well written and covers the time just before and during World War I.  It moves between England and France depending on who the story is focussed at the time.

The story deals with how the War was dealt with by the different characters both emotionally and physically.  For many of the people involved in the war it took away their innocence as they were all privy to things that many of us should never have to see or deal with in our lifetimes.  It pitted man against man and the outcome for some was disfigurement, death or if they were lucky they escaped as a whole person and alive, seemingly unscathed.  Occasionally though the scars could not be seen as they were hidden below the skin in the mind.

Louisa Young manages to weave the story around the characters well and shows us how each one deals with the cards that she has given them to deal with.  Some cope with this far better than others.

This is the first in a series that continues on to follow the lives of the characters after the war.  I will be reading others in the series.

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