45 of 52 people found the following review helpful
promising but not engrossing,
This review is from: My Dear I Wanted to Tell You (Hardcover)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)The First World War has been an era that has provided writers with inspiration for some very moving and poignant fiction. This latest offering by Louisa Young, follows the men on the frontline and the women they leave behind.
Riley Purefoy signs up in attempt to escape from a broken heart after Mrs Waveney makes it clear he isn't good enough for her daughter, Nadine who is destined for an advantageous marriage. As his luck continues during the war and the rising death toll means he is promoted fast, he begins to see the war as an opportunity to prove his worth to her disapproving family.
Fighting alongside Riley, is Peter Locke. A man of wealth and high standing who, swallowing the propaganda demonising the Hun, joins to protect his new wife. After having newly married life abruptly interrupted, Julia Locke waits anxiously in her new home contemplating how her preparation of becoming a wife didn't include life without a husband. Embracing the new opportunities is Peter's cousin Rose who after accepting life as a spinster suddenly finds herself with work and purpose in her life.
The book explores most of the issues that the war uncovered in Britain, especially the class system and women's rights but the character's seem slightly stereotyped which spoilt any attempt to be unique.
For those keen on World War One fiction the story has essences of Atonement and Birdsong but isn't quite as powerful. Perhaps due to the characters not as multi-dimensional as you hope but there is also some difficulty getting completely engrossed as Young's writing style includes a variety of speech and thoughts in one swift flurry making it quite difficult to follow.
Many will love this book and appreciate the experience of being transported back to one of the most interesting and tragic periods of history. However, there are other books written during and after the era which I'd recommend before this.
Tracked by 1 customer
Sort: Oldest first | Newest first
Showing 1-8 of 8 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 27 Jan 2012 16:37:46 GMT
That's not why Riley joined up and it's not why Peter Locke joined up. You seem to have missed so much of the depth of this novel and that is such a shame. I listened to it (it, it, it!) as an audiobook and was enthralled!
Posted on 30 Jan 2012 11:52:48 GMT
I was very disappointed and gave up reading the book after a couple of chapters. I didn't like the style in which it was written, it felt almost as though the author was trying too hard and in doing so ruined what could have been a good story. Perhaps I have been spoilt by previous books I've read which centre around events that took place during WW1, ie The Return of Captain John Emmett and The Crimson Rooms - both excellent.
In reply to an earlier post on 14 Feb 2012 07:48:31 GMT
R Taylor says:
I am contemplating ditching this book. As you say the literary style is poor. Execrable use of English in parts.
In reply to an earlier post on 7 Jun 2012 18:59:42 BDT
Mrs. J. H. Jenkins says:
You should have persevered. I was about to give up but the style improved and I am engrossed in it now.
In reply to an earlier post on 7 Jun 2012 19:01:09 BDT
Mrs. J. H. Jenkins says:
So was I but somehow the style improved and I am finding it hard to put down.
Posted on 16 Jun 2012 18:50:28 BDT
Unlike some of the posters above I loved the style of writing in the book. The author brings a broad vocabulary and a poetic style to this novel which makes for refreshing reading.
In reply to an earlier post on 6 Jul 2012 21:36:56 BDT
I am very near the end of this book and have been engrossed since chapter one. I love the style and love to read what the character is thinking , as well as saying. Ive read Birdsong and atonement and dont think they come anywhere near this, this is a far more rounded view of life in the trenches and at home , and maybe as a nurse I can relate to Rose and Nadine in some way , while learning lot from Riley , in his predicament. I would highly recommend this book
Posted on 25 Feb 2013 11:37:33 GMT
Jane Smith says:
I would have valued this reviewer's judgment more if she had read the other books she mentions more carefully. How could she think "Atonement" is about the First World War when a great chunk of it is set in the retreat to Dunkirk ?
‹ Previous 1 Next ›