Author: Louisa Young
Publish Date: May 31, 2011
Source: TLC Book Tours
Why You're Reading This Book:
- You're a historical fiction fan.
From Goodreads.com: "The lives of two very different couples--an officer and his aristocratic wife, and a young soldier and his childhood sweetheart--are irrevocably intertwined and forever changed in this stunning World War I epic of love and war.
At eighteen years old, working-class Riley Purefoy and "posh" Nadine Waveney have promised each other the future, but when war erupts across Europe, everything they hold to be true is thrown into question. Dispatched to the trenches, Riley forges a bond of friendship with his charismatic commanding officer, Peter Locke, as they fight for their survival. Yet it is Locke's wife, Julia, who must cope with her husband's transformation into a distant shadow of the man she once knew. Meanwhile, Nadine and Riley's bonds are tested as well by a terrible injury and the imperfect rehabilitation that follows it, as both couples struggle to weather the storm of war that rages about them.
Moving among Ypres, London, and Paris, this emotionally rich and evocative novel is both a powerful exploration of the lasting effects of war on those who fight--and those who don't--and a poignant testament to the enduring power of love."
My Two Cents:
This book takes place during World War I, a time period that I have not read very much historical fiction about. I found myself wondering why World War II seems to be such a more popular time period as far as historical fiction goes. Does anyone have any idea why this is?
This book focuses on the stories of two couples and those surrounding them. You never really get to find out about what attracts both couples to each other, which I think would have been nice to know especially considering what happens to both couples throughout the book (I don't want to give anything away). Since in the book we only really get to see what the couples are like once they've fallen in love, I felt like I didn't really get to connect with them. Not having that background also made it difficult to see what the motive was for what the characters do throughout the book. I think there could have been more to help the reader engage a little bit more with all of the major characters.
Interestingly enough, the one character that I really connected with was Rose, the nurse who takes care of Riley after he has sustained a bunch of really bad injuries from the war. I felt like you really got a good sense of who she was and her thoughts and her feelings, which made it much easier to connect with her. Not being able to connect with any of the main characters I think definitely hurt the book.
Another aspect of the book that I really liked is the information about some of the surgeries that were performed during this time. It was sort of amazing what the hospital was able to do in order to try to fix Riley's jaw (they give him sort of a prosthesis)after it's blown off during the war. I guess I didn't realize how far advance surgery was way back then. That part of the book was definitely fascinating to me.
Bottom line: A decent read with interesting details!
Don't Forget to Follow the Rest of the Tour:
Tuesday, June 26th: A Musing Reviews
Wednesday, June 27th: Lit and Life
Thursday, June 28th: Diary of an Eccentric
Tuesday, July 3rd: Reading Lark
Wednesday, July 4th: Unabridged Chick
Thursday, July 5th: Diary of a Stay at Home Mom
Tuesday, July 10th: Savvy Verse & Wit
Wednesday, July 18th: The Book Garden
Thursday, July 19th: Peeking Between the Pages
Friday, July 20th: The Written World
Thursday, July 26th: A Bookish Affair
Friday, August 3rd: My Bookshelf
TBD: Shall Write