The Very Thought of You Paperback – 18 Jun 2009
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"Rosie Alison's debut novel grips from start to finish. Beginning with the story of a young girl evacuated to a country house at the start of the war, it opens up to include doomed romances, thwarted love affairs, innocence corrupted, and a cast of characters that are as passionate as they are believable. Alison writes with a real understanding of the period and true compassion for her characters and the plot develops in unexpected and often shocking ways. Without question one of the best debuts I've read in recent years and an important addition to the growing body of literature which concerns itself with the effect of the Second World War on the people back home." --John Boyne
"A polished and striking debut." --Waterstone's Book Quarterly
From the Publisher
Longlisted for RNA Romantic Novel of the Year 2010See all Product Description
Top Customer Reviews
It is set in a country estate, Ashton Park in Yorkshire, the estate and its owners having been brought low by the First World War. Now, at the start of the Second World War in 1939, 8-year-old Anna Sands is evacuated here from London with 85 other children. Anna, intelligent and perceptive, is quickly drawn into the family by the Ashtons who have turned their estate into a school. Thomas and Elizabeth Ashton shape Anna's life.
The story is gripping from the start, with subtle observation and superb detailing, the writing highly visual. The author paints wonderful pictures of London and vividly communicates the feel of Ashton Park.
I count this among my favourite books and highly recommend it.
It takes place during the Second World War and is essentially based around an evacuee who along with others is sent to a large house in the country. It follows her story as well as her Parents and the couple who take her in.
I thought that all the characters were well developed and believable, they were not simply good or bad but people who found themselves in situations that they were unable control or cope with.
The description of the little girl and her Mother shopping together before her departure was particularly heart rending but in a most unsentimental way.
This book also tackles the effects of polio, a disease that we have all but forgotten about but which had devastating effects on both its victims and their families.
All in all an absorbing read and one which I found difficult to put down.
Not one to keep, I'm afraid, or even pass onto a friend.
I do feel a bit guilty giving it three stars - the same rating I have just given to a much trashier book, but there was too much unfulfilled promise here. I wish she had sat on it for a year and then looked at it more dispassionately. It could have been a much better book than it is. I might look out for her next one but I hope it will have a little more fire.
If I had one criticism of the book it would be that the final section compresses too tightly the long period from the wartime events to the final denouement, and I would have enjoyed hearing more about the character on whom this part of the book focusses. That comment, though, is really praise for the book's intelligence and sensitivity because it is very rare indeed that I find a modern novel too short.
The story is told in such a way that the reader is drawn into the characters lives and it really was a joy to read this short but sweet novel. This book is quite unlike many novels set in war time England as it doesnt focus on the physical, political aspects of the time but on the people who just happened to live during this period of history and how it subtly affects their lives and stories.
I loved this story and would highly recommend it to others who love a good read - and a good love story!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This was a fantastic book that I couldn't put down. Its an easy read but a beautiful story and you can really relate to the characters. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Ellybelly
Bought this book without knowing author and can't put it down - tightly written, full of details, fast flowing, interesting - love the writer, love the writing style, and would buy... Read morePublished 10 months ago by squirrel 59
Please do not waste your time reading this trite nonsense unless you are a Mills and Boon fan, and I mean this with no intention of insulting anyone who is. Read morePublished on 3 Jun. 2014 by Angcat
The story started very well but I got bored with the book I feel the writer also got bored writing it. I finished it but actually had to force myself.Published on 25 Nov. 2013 by Amelia Rae