June 2014 Book of the Month.
The sequel to My Dear, I Wanted To Tell You which was set during World War I. This is 1919 and Riley has returned from the front with part of his face missing. This damage is obvious but his close friend Peter comes home with shell-shock, a damage not easily seen and certainly not understood in that period. Peter battles dreadfully with his depression. Both men have the love of good women, families and friends but adapting to the world after such a horrific time was challenging for all. This is a tough subject beautifully handled.
1919, and Britain is realising that it is no longer at war. Now, Nadine and Riley, Rose, and Peter and Julia, must try to regain a sense of normality. But long shadows cast by the war dim the potential joys of peacetime, and matters of the heart prove arduous and bewildering. Normality doesn't seem to exist the way it did, and there is no 'going back' to anything. What must give, for happiness to stand a chance? For those who fought, those who healed and those left behind, 1919 is a year freighted with perilous beginnings, unavoidable realities and gleams of indestructible hope.
This is a novel about damage – about the long-term effects of the First World War. It is also a novel about how that damage can be lived with or overcome. Riley Purefoy returns home with a disfigured face after part of his jaw was blown off. His commanding officer, Peter Locke, is drinking heavily, and cannot forget the men lost under his command. Peter’s wife, Julia, cannot reach him or understand what he is going through; and Riley’s fiancée, Nadine, worries that his injuries will affect their relationship physically and emotionally. Finally, there is Rose, concerned that all this damage will prevent her from gaining her independence at last. This evocative and involving novel that recreates the decade after the First World War also subtly shows how ill equipped society was to deal with the returning soldiers. Beautifully written, it sensitively highlights the lasting impact of war.
Praise for MY DEAR I WANTED TO TELL YOU:
'This novel is a triumph
Elizabeth Jane Howard
'Every once in a while comes a novel that generates its own success, simply by being loved.'
'Birdsong for the new millennium'
'Powerful, sometimes shocking, boldly conceived, it fixes on war's lingering trauma to show how people adapt - or not - and is irradiated by anger and pity'
The Sunday Times
'[A] tender, elegiac novel. Others have been here before, of course, from Sebastian Faulks to Pat Barker, but Young belongs in their company'
Mail on Sunday
Publication date: 22/05/2014
Publisher: The Borough Press an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers
|Publication date:||22nd May 2014|
|Publisher:||The Borough Press an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers|
|Genres:||Books of the Month, eBook Favourites, Historical Fiction,|
Louisa Young was born in London. She was for many years a freelance journalist, working mostly for the motorcycle press, for Marie Claire and for the Guardian. She has travelled widely and published ten books. She lives in London and Italy with her daughter. She is the adult half of Zizou Corder, authors of the best-selling Lionboy trilogy, which is published in 36 languages.More About Louisa Young