Thursday, July 26, 2012

TLC Book Tour Stop: My Dear I Wanted to Tell You by Louisa Young

Title: My Dear I Wanted to Tell You
Author: Louisa Young
Format: Paperback
Publisher: Harper
Publish Date: May 31, 2011
Source: TLC Book Tours

Why You're Reading This Book:

  • You're a historical fiction fan.
What's the Story?:

From "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



  1. This is a period I like reading about. The variety of stories for this time are so immense and all different.

  2. I liked this one too. I was impressed with how much the Drs. were able to help those with serious facial injuries at that time as well. I really felt for all of those men who like Riley dealt with serious facial injuries.

  3. I LOOOOOOOVE a good historical fiction! Seen this one around, but the title and cover always led me to think it a romance, haha! Thanks so much for sharing this review! <3 As for WWII...count in that it's more recent, so it's fresher in people's minds (maybe?). This sounds like a super interesting read!!

  4. Great review, I love historical fiction and I am not sure why author's prefer WWII. Maybe because there is more information? This sounds like an interesting read and i enjoyed your review!

  5. Hi Meg,

    I do tend to agree with previous commenters, that there is so much more data and material facts known about WWII, that writing and storytelling can become much more authentic.

    WWI was however, much the more brutal and distressing, although those family and friends left to worry and wonder at home, never really got to know of the terrible conditions and atrocities that went on.

    Generally for me, historical fiction has to go back much further in date than either of the wars, although this book does pique my interest enough to note down the details, for future reference.

    Thanks for sharing,


  6. This novel sounds like a pretty good read. Thanks for a detail review.
    check out this new monthly giveaway.

  7. WWI was a very brutal war, and a big reason for that was that there was almost no improvement in battlefield medicine since the Civil War. I have seen this book around, but never seen a blogger review it, so thanks!

    Kate @ Ex Libris

  8. This sounds like checking out! Thanks for reviewing it. :)

  9. I've really been enjoying the WWI era books I've read lately so I'm excited to make time to read this one - it sounds really good!

    Thanks for being on the tour.


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