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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Love and War, 9 Sept. 2009
By 
ML Jensen (Bath, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Alice in Love and War (Paperback)
The title really sums the book up, as the English civil war and love are the two main themes of the story. Alice falls in love with a soldier and is tempted to leave her home and follow the Royalist army, with only the vaguest idea of what such a life will hold for her. She thinks anything will be better than the situation she is in at her uncle's farm, but she isn't prepared for the hardships of the baggage train. The cold, the hunger, the dirt, and above all the danger. But there are compensations, such as the friendships she forms.
It's been a very long wait for this new teen novel from Ann Turnbull, and I've really been looking forward to reading it. It didn't disappoint. It's a satisfying read, with an exciting story line and a real picture of what it must have been like to be caught up in the civil war.
The story probably isn't suitable for pre-teens due to the sexual content (tastefully handled, I hasten to add) but apart from that, anyone who enjoys an accesible historical tale with adventure and love will really enjoy this. It's beautifully written and brilliantly researched with a wealth of historical detail which never intrudes on the story.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Love and friendship during The English Civil War, 28 Sept. 2009
By 
J. Cook "Anna" (London) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Alice in Love and War (Paperback)
Historical fiction is my favourite genre and I buy and read it on a regular basis. Although this book isn't really aimed at my age group, I really enjoyed it and found it thought provoking and well written. It has a very simple style and quickly draws you into the lives of the characters and the events of The English Civil War. Although aimed at young adults, the author doesn't shy away from the brutality and hardships of war and although it is never graphic, I thought it packed quite a punch, showing the sheer wickedness that these conflicts bring. There is a love story running through it, but it's not the main part of the plot, which was good for me, as I'm not keen on romance in novels. This is a touching tale of friendship and love and I would recommend it to people of all ages.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Alice In Love And War, 28 Nov. 2009
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Susan Purkiss "Sue Purkiss" (Somerset, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Alice in Love and War (Paperback)
This book explores a period of history that hasn't been much written about - but what really interested me was that it took you right into the world of an ordinary inhabitant of that world; Ann Turnbull gives you a real feel of what it would have been like to live there, to be on the edge of great events and affected by them with no power to influence them. This was a very good read.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent young adult historical novel about the English Civil War., 19 Sept. 2009
By 
Rebecca Herman (USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Alice in Love and War (Paperback)
Alice Newcombe's father dies when she was eleven, leaving her an orphan. She is sent to live on her aunt and uncle's farm, where she feels unwelcome from the start. Five years pass, until Alice is sixteen in the year 1644. Civil war divides England, but Alice is most worried about fighting off the unwelcome advances of her uncle, and fears what will happen if one day, she cannot fight him off. So when Royalist soldiers come to their village, and Alice falls in love with one young soldier named Robin, she seizes her chance to escape, and leaves with Robin to join the other women on the baggage train following the army.

Life is hard, but Alice becomes friends with many of the women on the baggage train. And she loves Robin, and is sure he loves her too. But when he leaves her alone for the winter, she begins to wonder if he was honest with her, and if he really cares for her as much as she did. What will happen to her if he does not return? Can she make her own way in a country torn apart by a violent war?

Alice in Love and War is an excellent historical novel that brings to life the English Civil War, a time period I didn't know much about as an American reader. Alice is a well-developed and likeable character and the book kept me turning the pages eagerly to find out what would happen to her next. There are some mature themes in this book, although not described in graphic detail, so I wouldn't recommend this book for young readers, but it is an excellent book for teens - and adults too - who love historical fiction.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bringing the seventeenth century to life, 1 April 2010
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This review is from: Alice in Love and War (Paperback)
This novel about the turbulent life of a young woman, caught up in the English Civil War is a satisfying and absorbing read, in spite of the horrors which Ann Turnbull doesn't shrink from describing. Alice is a warm and sympathetic character, who falls in love with a charming scoundrel in the Royalist army; and leaves her unpleasant family to follow him. Her growing sexual feelings are sympathetically but honestly described. The reader can guess, as Alice does not, that he's going to let her down, and we feel for her. But Alice doesn't let her sorrows overcome her, and finds friendship and support among the women she meets. She falls in love again, more happily; something that happens frequently in life, but seldom in books, and again her changing feelings are described convincingly. There is a lot of history here, but it isn't obtrusive; young readers will absorb much information about the seventeenth century without realising they're doing so. I loved this book, and would recommend it to any teenage girl - and some boys, too.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Gripping and moving, 20 Feb. 2015
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Alison Leonard (Chester United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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I loved this book. It goes deep into war and bloodshed and chaos, but is always rooted in Alice's experiences as a girl and a young woman. Rooted too in the practical realities of a girl's life. If you want to know what home life was like before electricity, this will tell you, or what it was like to be ill before modern medicine. If you want to experience life as a sexually-aware young woman before the days of the Pill - again, this will show you. There are probably more shocks for a modern reader in this steadily written YA novel than in many a more openly 'shocking' novel.
I found each of the two love affairs, with such different men, completely convincing - and yet I was also convinced by the decision of the older woman, Christian, to choose a marriage of convenience. I didn't know a great deal about the Civil War, but 'Alice' brought it to life for me. And the part where Alice takes on another woman's baby is wonderfully written, deeply moving.
Highly recommended.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful, touching book, 11 Mar. 2010
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This review is from: Alice in Love and War (Paperback)
This is a marvellous book, beautifully written and paced - we follow young Alice the heroine through a journey across Civil-War-torn seventeenth century England: romance, drama, a historical setting so real it's like time-travel, and a very touching love story! Read it!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Absorbing, realistic read, 2 Nov. 2014
This book really brings history to life and it felt like falling into Alice's Civil War world when reading it. At first I felt annoyed with Alice for not seeing that Robin was clearly not the man to fall in love with. The story about him abandoning her was a bit predicatable. But the story was so absorbing and the historical details so realistic and natural that I found myself really enjoying the story. I like the fact that there was understanding for people on both the Royalist and Roundhead sides. The part where Nia and the Welsh friends of Alice were killed as heartbreaking but I was glad that Elen, Nia's baby, survived and Alice finally met Jem, a kind-hearted young Puritan. She deserved to be happy after all that had happened!
Overall, it is a good read for older teens and I recommend sticking with it as it gets better in the middle even though the beginning seems really cliched and you can just guess what is going to happen.
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Alice in Love and War
Alice in Love and War by Ann Turnbull (Paperback - 7 Sept. 2009)
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