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My Dear, I Wanted to Tell You [Paperback]

Louisa Young
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (310 customer reviews)
RRP: 7.99
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Book Description

5 Jan 2012

A letter, two lovers, a terrible lie. In war, truth is only the first casualty. ‘Inspires the kind of devotion among its readers not seen since David Nicholls’ One Day’ The Times

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.


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My Dear, I Wanted to Tell You + The Heroes' Welcome + The Lie
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Product details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: The Borough Press (5 Jan 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0007361440
  • ISBN-13: 978-0007361441
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (310 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,745 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Louisa Young was born in London. She was for many years a freelance journalist, working mostly for the motorcycle press, for Marie Claire and for the Guardian. She has travelled widely and published ten books. She lives in London and Italy with her daughter and the composer Robert Lockhart. She is the adult half of Zizou Corder, authors of the best-selling Lionboy trilogy, which is published in 36 languages.

If you are interested, feel free to visit my webpage at
www.louisayoung.co.uk

Product Description

Review

‘Every once in a while comes a novel that generates its own success, simply by being loved.’
The Times

‘Birdsong for the new millennium’
Tatler

‘Powerful, sometimes shocking, boldly conceived, it fixes on war’s lingering trauma to show how people adapt – or not – and is irradiated by anger and pity’
The Sunday Times

‘[A] tender, elegiac novel. Others have been here before, of course, from Sebastian Faulks to Pat Barker, but Young belongs in their company’
Mail on Sunday

‘Unmissable … in crisp poignant prose Young explores what war really means in terms of mental anguish, while cleverly commenting on class and sex’
Marie Claire

‘Weaving heartbreakingly painful irony, heroic sacrifice, human weakness, vanity, tragedy and the purest of loves, you’ll be left sobbing and grasping onto any hope that all is not lost amid the poppies, the guns and the hospital beds’
Easy Living

‘A memorable and unusual novel which explores new ground in the literature of the Great War’
Linda Grant

‘This novel is a triumph’
Elizabeth Jane Howard

‘Young has a historian’s eye for the private details of war, and a warmth to her prose that makes her small cast emotionally engaging … Through Riley, however, the novel achieves an appeal to compassion and courage that deserves to reach a wide audience … Hindsight tells us peace will not be final, but Young conveys, beautifully, the universal wish that it might be’
Independent

‘Beautifully realised’
Daily Express

‘Masterfully conveyed’
Woman & Home

‘Full of drama, betrayal and addictive real-life detail’
Red

‘This is a moving and powerful novel, one you’re not likely to forget’
Choice

‘A book that should be read by everyone’
New Books

About the Author

Louisa Young was born in London. She was for many years a freelance journalist, working mostly for the motorcycle press, for Marie Claire and for the Guardian. She has travelled widely and published ten books. She lives in London and Italy with her daughter. She is the adult half of Zizou Corder, authors of the best-selling Lionboy trilogy, which is published in 36 languages.


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
189 of 194 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Cant stop thinking about it ......... 22 May 2011
Format:Kindle Edition
I have read quite a few war books and heard a tale end interview of the author of this book on the radio and was inspired to buy it. Am so glad I did. It is a rich story of the horrors of war but told from a very human aspect. It is not a documentary of WWI with dates and places, albeit its a full factual account. It is how as people, ordinary people fared in the war and the horrors they faced and the loves they lost. I absolutely loved it and cannot stop thinking about Major Locke, Rose, Julia, Nadine and ofcourse Riley. The book made me cry - and in the middle - not at the end. It is written with such strong emotion and pathos that I, who have never reviewed a book before decided I must review this one. Please read it, as although it is a story, what you learn from this story is far greater than a factual account of what happened in this awful awful war. The characters are so plausible and their incredible bravery makes me so proud to be British. I hope the writer gets the credit she deserves for this, as it truly is thought-provoking, heart rendering and probably even more corny expressions used in these reviews but which are completely needed here!
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80 of 85 people found the following review helpful
By Em25
Format:Kindle Edition
The front cover of this book, reminiscent of yet another beach chick-flick read, nearly put me off. Fortunately with the encouragement of a close friend, I launched into one of the best books I've read this year. So often novels set during the First World War dwell on the painful minutiae of trench-life, with characters taking second place in the spin of a narrative dominated by bloody gore. In contrast this novel pushes the characters to the fore, with piercing characterisation and poignancy. Best of all it is far from predictable, allowing the reader to turn the pages with an anticipatory appetite for what is to follow.
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96 of 104 people found the following review helpful
By Steve Benner TOP 1000 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
The Great War of 1914-1918 has provided rich pickings for novelists over the years; almost a hundred years after the event, the scale of the horrors and human suffering remain such that hardly a month goes by without the appearance of at least one new story based on events of those times. One would think that by now almost everything that there was to say on the matter had already been said, and many times over, at that; in a sense, it probably has. Certainly, Louisa Young's "My Dear I Wanted To Tell You" brings nothing particularly new to the oeuvre; indeed, many of her themes and her characterisations are so predictable as to border on the hackneyed. But what this particular book may lack in originality it more than makes up for in masterful handling of pace, clear-sighted and poignant portrayal of thought-processes and emotions, a wonderful understanding of the human condition, all married to a flawless grasp of dramatic structure and flow.

The book draws you in from the very first page, and holds you in a vice-like grip right to the very last page. There are times when it is hard even to remember to breathe. When she finally lets you go, it is with a sense of exhilaration as well as exhaustion.

The story is well researched and rich in historical detail but this is always kept properly subservient to the main narrative; Louisa Young always keeps her characters well to the foreground, never allowing the historical fact and scale of the events themselves to take over -- a mistake all too often made in books of this kind.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant 24 Aug 2012
By Graemey
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Others have commented on the books content and theme so I won't repeat that. I found the book absorbing, well researched, well written and engaging from beginning until the end. The only thing that I didnt really like was the title.It is rather unimaginative and doesnt draw one in to what is a stimulating and imaginative novel of a a very high calibre. I am not sure how anyone could give this book less than a 4 star rating but I guess some people would find fault with the gates of paradise!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing 15 May 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
You know when sometimes you read a book and think `why did I waste my valuable time reading that' and then you read a book that lives with you long after you have finished it, and in fact you get cross as you do not want it to end, "My Dear I Wanted to Tell You" is that kind of book. Fantastic read...........I love a book that you can not put down and this is one of them. A real vivid portrayal of The Great War of 1914-1918 juxtaposed with the love story which keeps the reader interested to see how the love story develops (a bit like Captain Corelli's Mandolin). Like Louis de Bernières, Louisa Young writes in very much in the same way. This book would be a great for studying for A Level and reading groups.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My Dear I wanted to tell you 23 April 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This a lovely book, beautifully written. Although it is so sad in parts, I couldn't put it down. The writing held my attention from the word 'go. The descriptions were excellent and one could almost smell some of the dreadful scenes of what happened in World War 1. I would recommend this to anyone who feels they could read about such a tragic event. The story is not over-romanticised bu is utterly compelling.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautifully written and describes the horrors of the First World ...
Beautifully written and describes the horrors of the First World War so graphically it will make even the hardest of souls to cry
Published 5 days ago by Y A Barrie
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent choice.
I have rated this book five stars because it is one of the best reads I have had in a while. a passionate story of love, it exposes the shameless shallowness of the human condition... Read more
Published 6 days ago by Nellie
5.0 out of 5 stars Thoroughly enjoyed this unusual tale
Thoroughly enjoyed this unusual tale. So many of my generation were just told that the 1WW was terrible but few of those who took part would talk about it.
Published 6 days ago by B.C.SMEATH
4.0 out of 5 stars a soulful tale
The vivid horrors of life in the trenches and life afterwards is written so eloquently, from start to the end.
Published 11 days ago by Dunning
4.0 out of 5 stars Emotional side of war - loved it!
A romance novel set to the backdrop of WWI. Follows five characters and how they their lives become entwined due to the war. Read more
Published 13 days ago by Hannah Lewis
4.0 out of 5 stars Human Tragedy and Plastic Surgery
Louisa Young’s historical novel My Dear, I Wanted to Tell You is set in early 20th century England and France. Read more
Published 13 days ago by darklittlelady
4.0 out of 5 stars Appropriate time to be reading this
We have just read this for our book club selection and our ratings ranged from 4 to 5, so a good reception for this book. Read more
Published 16 days ago by Alison 46
5.0 out of 5 stars A real page turner
Couldn't put it down - can't wait to read the next book by this author. I would highly recommend this book.
Published 16 days ago by Catherine Silvey
4.0 out of 5 stars For the love of Riley
A heart warming book, with interesting characters which develop before your eyes from children into adults. A different war story that stirs lots of emotion. Read more
Published 22 days ago by jenny meah
5.0 out of 5 stars A Touching Story.
This book was an excellent read from beginning to end, and a book one couldn't put down! For those of us that are fascinated by the 'Great War',, a very moving story, and... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Teresa Twilton
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