Book Reviews

My Dear, I Wanted to Tell You by Louisa Young

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List Price: £7.99


Paperback: 416 Pages.

Published: 05 January 2012 by The Borough Press

ISBN: 0007361440

EAN: 9780007361441

Set on the Western Front, in London and in Paris, MY DEAR I WANTED TO TELL YOU is a moving and brilliant novel of love, class and sex in wartime, and how war affects those left behind as well as those who fight.

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?


4.0 Stars4.0 Stars4.0 Stars4.0 Stars  by Debra Found

Well written but not original

This is a romance set against the backdrop of WWI. Riley is a young working class lad who works for an artist & gets a better than usual education, who falls in love with Nadine, an upper class young lady. Nadine's parents put their foot down & in anguish Riley enlists & goes to war. This actual backbone of the story isn't original & nor are the finer points when Riley is injured. However it is a well written book which made it most enjoyable.

There is a lot in this book about the nursing & medical advancements during WWI & is quite graphic in some places. The author has evidently done quite a bit of research concerning the treatment of serious facial injuries during this period & that was most interesting.

Riley Purefoy is a good, solid character. His reactions to the horrors of WWI & to his horrific injury are very real & to be expected. He has a good sense of loyalty & duty to his men which causes him much anguish. His CEO, Major Locke, also shows clearly the terrible trauma of watching his men used as canon fodder. These men do reflect the very human side of men at this time in history. The women in this book are all very different yet believeable. Julia Locke, wife of Major Locke, is a shallow, weak woman who doesn't know what her place is in the war & consequently gets it all so wrong. Rose Locke, the cousin of Major Locke, is a devoted VAD very much in the vein of women in the history books. Nadine is a character that I didn't quite get to grips with. I didn't feel she was as well built as the others but she still fitted well into the story. There are also many supporting roles in this book which were well written with well defined characters.

Although the plot wasn't terribly original, it was well written & well structured. There were a few small ends which I didn't feel were quite tied up neatly at the end but these were really very minor. The end of the book came in rather a rush which surprised me. Things had been plodding along with the characters & the plot developing well when suddenly there was an amazing rush of action & then the end. This did leave me feeling slightly rushed & not ready for the ending when it came.

I did enjoy this book. It was well written with a solid plot & characters. It was also very obviously well researched. A part of me wishes that the author had been a little more adventurous & added something a bit more original.

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