My Dear, I Wanted to Tell You Paperback – 5 Jan 2012
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‘Every once in a while comes a novel that generates its own success, simply by being loved.’
‘Birdsong for the new millennium’
‘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’
‘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’
‘A memorable and unusual novel which explores new ground in the literature of the Great War’
‘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’
Woman & Home
‘Full of drama, betrayal and addictive real-life detail’
‘This is a moving and powerful novel, one you’re not likely to forget’
‘A book that should be read by everyone’
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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Top Customer Reviews
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.Read more ›
The first half of the book is about the experiences that the five have adapting to the realities of war and the shifts it brings about in their relationships. In the second half, Riley suffers a serious injury which will affect all of the characters in different ways.
I have mixed feelings about this book. It did a very good job of conveying the various facets of war, the experience for those in the trenches, in the hospitals and stranded at home. There were parts that were beautifully written but at other times the choppiness of the narrative became hard to take. I didn't really feel caught up in it until the second half, when it settles down and became (for me) far more involving and moving. The ending is somewhat contrived, but also genuinely satisfying.
The characters could have been better developed. Riley and Nadine's relationship is the central thread, but too often we were told about how they felt for one another rather than feeling it. Rose is a wonderful character, but she is frequently sidelined.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Louisa Young's novel opens up the realities of war: those who survived, those who were irreparably damaged and those who had to live with them. Read morePublished 29 days ago by Mrs J G Garnett
Can't really review this honestly as I only read a few chapters but I really didn't enjoy the inclusion,without warning, of fairly explicit material. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Primrose
There are many long reviews for this novel set in WW1 - so I'll keep mine short. I thoroughly enjoyed the book, I felt I need to own it (It was from the library) and I don't often... Read morePublished 2 months ago by Chloebugs
This is quite simply a fabulous book. We should all read storied like this as we owe that generation so much.Published 2 months ago by Colin