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A World Between Us Paperback – 4 Oct 2012

4.5 out of 5 stars 15 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Hot Key Books (4 Oct. 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1471400093
  • ISBN-13: 978-1471400094
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 1.8 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 414,044 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

'an outstanding debut novel for teenagers ... Thoroughly researched and beautifully written ... Syson has written an affecting story that takes its protagonists on a gruelling journey through a war-torn landscape. Picasso's Guernica continues to bear witness to that city's tragic fate; this accomplished wartime romance will enthral while reminding you why he painted it.' --The Guardian

'This book should certainly appeal to those interested in an anti-fascist struggle whose events and consequences still impact in Spain and beyond to this day. Highly recommended.' --The Morning Star

'an outstanding debut novel for teenagers ... Thoroughly researched and beautifully written ... Syson has written an affecting story that takes its protagonists on a gruelling journey through a war-torn landscape. Picasso's Guernica continues to bear witness to that city's tragic fate; this accomplished wartime romance will enthral while reminding you why he painted it.' --The Guardian

'This book should certainly appeal to those interested in an anti-fascist struggle whose events and consequences still impact in Spain and beyond to this day. Highly recommended.' --The Morning Star

About the Author

Lydia Syson is working through her ambitions in a disorderly fashion. The publication of her first novel, A WORLD BETWEEN US, has taken a good few decades. During this time she went from being a BBC World Service listener in Botswana to a producer in London, and then became a non-medical doctor and a mother of four. She also wrote a biography of Britain's first fertility guru, DOCTOR OF LOVE: JAMES GRAHAM AND HIS CELESTIAL BED, learning a lot about enlightenment sex in the process. Getting to Timbuktu is still on the ambition list - it's the subject of her PhD thesis - but it will have to be via Romney Marsh, where her next YA novel for Hot Key Books will be set. Bilingualism and Hollywood musical stardom are looking increasingly unlikely.


Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I really enjoyed A world between us and was completely drawn in and fascinated by the story from the first page unit the last. It is a real example of the way in which I think historical fiction should be written and is certainly a book I shall be recommending regularly to others.

What I first,y loved about this book was the subject it covers. Even having studied for a modern European history degree I am ashamed to admit that I knew relatively little about the Spanish civil war and actually now I feel like I should know more because I found this book and the history behind it such a fascinating read. For me it does exactly what a historical novel for young adults should do. It gives you a flavour of the historical period, setting and events and gives you enough information without over burdening you and therefore never becoming dry and dull whilst giving you a main character who you really become invested in from the first page so that you need to know more about them and the story they have to tell.

I loved the main character Felix. She is such a strong character in a quiet and unassuming way. She volunteers to go and work as a nurse in Spain on a whim following a boy she meets and suddenly finds herself in the thick of a foreign war with the lives of hundreds of men in her hands and she rises to the challenge brilliantly. The history geek in me was completely fascinated with the medical side especially when you see the ways in which Felix and the doctors around her are treating patients with brand new techniques which are literally only being used in some cases for the first time ,asking them pioneers in the field.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A friend of mine bought this for my teenage daughter. I loved the cover and was interested in a female heroine called Felix (short for Felicity). I'm afraid my daughter won't be getting it back until I finish it. This does for the Spanish Civil War what The Red Necklace did for the French Revolution (but in a completely different but equally great way). It is such a good introduction to the period that is often overlooked because of it falling in the mid to late Thirties. There is a lot of good information but I am reading it for the love story, the love triangle, so young adult and pure and fun. The writing is superb and the plot is laid out so well, alternating between the three main stories so perfectly. As I said I have not finished it yet but it will be on my Christmas list for teens, particularly girls but not only.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I was absolutely gripped by this book from the outset and raced through it. I was quickly caught up in the love story but also fascinated by the vivid descriptions of the Spanish civil war - something I knew very little about. It left me with a clear picture of this period in history but also wanting to know much more about it. This is a beautifully crafted book. The plot unfolds with some unexpected and shocking twists and turns along the way making it hard to put down and the writing is clear, concise and poetic at times. A really great read.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
A World Between Us by Lydia Syson for me was not only a wonderful read but one where I learned so much about this very delicate time in history.
Why I loved this book so much was mainly because of the author's writing she drew me in from the first page as she showed me so much hatred was surrounding Felix as she found herself in the midst of a demonstration, she is soon rescued by Nat the one man who will show her what is truly going on in a land not so far away while he explains his views I could fully understand why so many men and women from other countries went to fight in Spain during the time of the Spanish Civil war. They could have sat back and said it was not their problem, it was not like today where we hear the news within minutes but their love and understanding for each other they knew they had to help those in need. Soon Felix sees Nat's views as her own and while she is on a weekend break in Paris with her brother Nathan and friend George she finds her own way to Spain to help as her nursing skills would be valuable. I will not spoil the book for you but all I will say if you think this is going to be a love story in the midst of war you will be mistaken as this book is so much more. Three young people for different reasons find themselves in a foreign country fighting in a war they accepted as their own but this time will change each of them in so many ways and if they are lucky to survive what will be left of their lives if they are lucky and survive this cruel war?
The author has clearly done her historical research and I would like to thank her for that as I learned so much from reading this brilliant book, not only that her vivid writing which showed me what the suffering was truly like and how those survived through this time.
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Format: Paperback
I am not a great lover of historical books but I was intrigued by this one from the beginning. I was lucky enough to attend the Hot Key Books launch party and I got to hear the author Lydia Syson talking passionately about this book and the research she amassed while writing it. The author's passion for the Spanish Civil War made me want to read it.
The book is told in third person from three points of view, each character interlinked within the story. Felix is the main character - she is a passionate young girl who is easily led by her feelings. She falls quickly for Nat, who has powerful views on the unrest in Spain, resulting in her following in his footsteps and rushing off to join the medical team there. Felix is followed to Spain by George, who was on the verge of asking Felix to marry him before she ran off. His rash decision to chase her changes his life forever as he comes in contact with such devastation.
The book follows these three characters over a period of three years, gently weaving their stories together as their paths cross on numerous occasions. One chance meeting changed the lives of these three characters for ever.
I did find this book a little slow to get into but I'm pretty sure that is because this isn't the style of book I would normally read. However as the story progresses, I found myself completely swept away with the romance and relationships between the three characters as they struggled through adversity . It was like watching one of those epic war movies from my child hood. Simply beautiful.
I loved the contrast between life in England and life in Spain during the Civil War, it made you appreciate how very different the countries were.
I warn you now the ending of the book will require hankies.
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