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My Dear I Wanted to Tell You: A Novel af…
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My Dear I Wanted to Tell You: A Novel (udgave 2011)

af Louisa Young

Serier: Riley Purefoy (1)

MedlemmerAnmeldelserPopularitetGennemsnitlig vurderingOmtaler
3862949,101 (3.88)34
A story that intertwines the lives of two very different couples during World War I follows army soldier Riley as he fights for the love of Nadine despite a terrible injury, and Riley's commanding officer Peter Locke, who returns home from the war a bitter and scarred man.
Medlem:metheheather
Titel:My Dear I Wanted to Tell You: A Novel
Forfattere:Louisa Young
Info:Harper (2011), Edition: First American Edition, Hardcover, 336 pages
Samlinger:Dit bibliotek
Vurdering:
Nøgleord:Ingen

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My Dear I Wanted to Tell You af Louisa Young

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» Se også 34 omtaler

Viser 1-5 af 29 (næste | vis alle)
I found this novel strangely unsatisfying.

Set during the First World War, it covers various themes, including the beginning of the end of the Victorian/Edwardian class system; the effect of the war both on those at the Front and those left behind; and the advancement of medical procedures brought about by new levels of injury.

The 'factual' side of the novel - the description of the medical procedures, life in the trenches, the effects of war injuries both physical and mental - are well-written and interesting. The story itself, though, just didn't flow for me. With the exception of Rose, I didn't feel engaged with the characters. I also found the writing style occasionally annoying. On the whole, it felt less than the sum of its parts. ( )
  TheEllieMo | Jan 18, 2020 |
Riley and Nadine meet as young children in 2007, and become close as young adults. But it is only after war breaks out and Riley is sent to fight in France, that they are able to admit their love to each other. As they both witness and suffer the horror and heartbreak of World War I, events lead Riley to tell a terrible lie to protect Nadine.

I am honestly not sure what to make of this book. I can definitely recognise the excellent writing, but for much of it, it did not make me feel a lot. I had high expectations due to hearing other readers rave about it, so maybe that was a factor. But much like looking at a piece of art and appreciating the talent required to create it but not feeling moved at all by it, that was how I felt about this novel.

That said, I did enjoy the second half a lot more than the first. The first part of the story was essentially setting up the second half, and as such was fairly slow moving. After the pivotal event takes place, the pace picks up and I liked it more. I also liked the parallel story of Julia and her husband Peter who is Riley’s commanding officer. My favourite character of all was probably Rose, Peter’s cousin, for whom war provides the identity and purposefulness which she had lacked (or been seen to be lacking) before.

The scenes of war were vivid and obviously well researched, as were the descriptions of early plastic surgery and facial reconstruction techniques. These descriptions dovetailed nicely with Julia’s obsession with her looks – all she had ever had to offer the world was her beauty and being unable to help with the war effort made her feel unnecessary and useless; the thought of losing her looks too, was unbearable to her. I was exasperated with her shallowness in parts, but it was forgivable as she too recognised it in herself and was unsatisfied with herself.

Overall I cannot say this was a bad book – in many ways it was a very good one. But it didn’t move me in the way I had hoped; however if you have any interest in World War I, you might want to check it out. ( )
  Ruth72 | Oct 15, 2019 |
This is a Great War story of love/war, of duty/self-sacrifice, of denial of the truth and fear of change, of physical/mental scars. At the centre of the story is a lie told to protect. In ‘My Dear, I Wanted to Tell You’ by Louisa Young, Riley Purefoy and Nadine Waveney, children from different classes, meet in a London park. When war is declared, knowing the gulf in their backgrounds prevents them from marrying, Riley volunteers and goes off to war. In the trenches he meets commanding officer, Peter Locke, whose wife Julia and cousin Rose remain at home in Kent throughout the war. This is the story of these five people.
The first half of the book is a long set-up for the second half, when the interesting stuff begins. I made myself continue reading through the first half, and raced through the second. We see Riley and Nadine meeting, Riley’s transition from boy to teenager, his introduction to a new world. Nadine’s father is a famous conductor; their friends include musicians, writers and artists. He is taken under the wing of artist Sir Alfred who introduces him to art and music; good-looking Riley becomes a model for Sir Alfred and, fascinated by drawing and painting, leaves his old world behind. Peter deals with the trauma of the trenches by drinking and whoring, he is tight-lipped and distant with Julia who feels she must be doing something wrong to alienate him so. I found Julia a most unsympathetic character; she has been encouraged to believe in her own prettiness, is unable to break away from her spoiled pre-war life and allows her mother to bully her and remove her baby from her care. Her plain cousin Rose trained as a nurse and, having worked at the front, is now based at the Queen’s Hospital in Sidcup. Rose, in danger of being a stereotype, later in the story faces a dilemma about patient confidentiality that elevates her character. Riley is promoted through the ranks, popular with the men, knowing the right thing to say, when to josh them along. He is fond of his CO, sees him safely home when he is drunk. One leave, he meets Nadine in London and their friendship is rekindled.
The turning point of the story is war injury and damage, and how everyone reacts to it. This is a serious book, not quite the romantic read it is billed. Particularly excellent are the passages about the Queen’s Hospital and the amazing work of surgeon Major Gillies in facial reconstruction. Some of the descriptive passages are clinical and shocking and are a stark contrast to Julia’s worries about beauty treatments. However there is a lot of internal monologue which became repetitive and I also found the constant swapping of viewpoint mid-paragraph a distraction from the fine historical setting.
Read more of my book reviews at http://www.sandradanby.com/book-reviews-a-z/ ( )
  Sandradan1 | Oct 6, 2019 |
I really enjoyed this book. It gave a real sense of the chaos of the time. I preferred it to Birdsong. ( )
  JillCurrie | May 25, 2018 |
3.5 At first I had a hard time getting used to the style of writing. I thought I wouldn't like it and at the end it still wasn't my favorite type of writing but the story was great. The style helps with the feel and mood of the book. I really enjoyed the story and the characters. It was a different side of WWI than I'm used to reading. ( )
  dawnlopez29 | Feb 21, 2018 |
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Louisa Youngprimær forfatteralle udgaverberegnet
Stevens, DanFortællermedforfatternogle udgaverbekræftet

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A story that intertwines the lives of two very different couples during World War I follows army soldier Riley as he fights for the love of Nadine despite a terrible injury, and Riley's commanding officer Peter Locke, who returns home from the war a bitter and scarred man.

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