Losing Julia
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Losing Julia

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4.08 of 5 stars 4.08  ·  rating details  ·  755 ratings  ·  157 reviews
An epic story of love found and lost, Losing Julia begins in 1928 at the dedication of a memorial to the great War in France. American Patrick Delaney has come to mourn his fallen comrades, especially his best friend, Daniel. When he sees a woman standing alone in the crowd, he realizes she must be Julia, Daniel’s lover. Though Patrick is married, he and Julia fall despera...more
Paperback, 390 pages
Published February 6th 2001 by Island Books (first published February 1st 2000)
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Becky
First, I should probably go ahead and thank Allison for this one. She threw this into a Christmas box she sent me as a last minute whim. To be honest, I probably never would have picked it up on my own. But that would have been a shame, because this story was fantastic.

So far this year is starting out wonderfully. This is my 4th 5-star read this year alone. When I think of that ratio, I feel like I've been super generous already this year. But I think that everything has been deserving of the r...more
Suzannabanana
I actually underlined insights the author expressed via Patrick's character -- wise words about life and living, about pain and forgiveness. I found the male perspective enlightening. Some of the passages describing the reality of war were excruciating, yet beautifully written. I see others found his lusting after Julia to be tedious. I found it to be so very true to life and representing perfection, unattainable - like the perfect butterfly that got away. This is honest writing. Patrick is a ve...more
Heather
If ever there was a book I wanted to go crazy with a highlighter on, it’s this one. Patrick, the 81 year old main character of the story, has some of the best observations about life, love and getting older that I’ve ever heard. He’s so witty and sarcastic and yet there is such truth, honesty, and insight to what he’s saying, and I went from laughing one minute to feeling sad and heartbroken the next. The only thing that stopped me from grabbing the highlighter and going to town was that I would...more
Deborah
Sep 07, 2007 Deborah rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: anyone sentimental
Shelves: alltimefavorites
ok, you can approach this from a moral sense (he longed for this woman al lhis life and had a brief affair with her while he was marrit) or you can enjoy.. i say just read it and THOROUGHLY enjoy the way it is written. a man, reflecting on his life, his love, as he sits in a nursing home, waiting to die.
so well written (from the heart), very 'male' in the way he looked at things (ok, it IS written by a man) and ... dare i say it? romantic, from that male point of view.
this book drew me in with i...more
Ann
I found this book profoundly sad. A beautiful and heartwarming story, with a protagonist who is in his 80s and winding down his remaining days in a nursing home and spending most of his time wondering what might have been. Perhaps because it reminded me of my dad, perhaps because I have a soft spot for stories about the young men who fought in the world wars, at the end I was drained. This Isn't meant to deter anyone from reading it-- it's a wonderful book. But I think I need to watch a comedy o...more
Louise
So unbelievably heartbreaking!! An amazingly written love story with a mixture of loss, refinding love, losing love again and of history and destiny. For a debut novel, Jonathan Hull has done an incredible job. I'll be looking for more of his work.

From back cover:

"Patrick Delaney was just a boy when he marched off to war in 1918. But on the stark battlefields of France, amid the horror and the chaos, Patrick forged a bond that would shape the course of his life. Daniel was Patrick's best friend,...more
AJ
I have just finished this book and feel like my heart has been ripped out of my chest! I read it in a day, it's so wonderfully written. Patrick's insights into his life, and life in general are so poignant, at times I needed to put the book down to think about what I just read.
I loved the stories told from his days as a soldier in the Great War, although these are graphically descriptive, and at times hard to read as you try to imagine what the men are going through. His friendship with Daniel...more
JeriLyn
Jul 20, 2014 JeriLyn rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: everyone
Recommended to JeriLyn by: barb sandvick
Wow - a thoroughly enjoyable read. And while I liked the storyline, I truly savored the perspectives on life. Really incredible. Joanthan Hull makes such poignant statements, grants perspectives you may or may not have ever contemplated, and often follows them with witty or sarcastic comments that fully capture the irony of life. This book will make you think, but not without bringing a heartwarming sense of humor to human emotions. I love Patrick Delaney and loved reading about his deepest thou...more
Nikki
This book was completely absorbing and I enjoyed it thoroughly. The intertwining of the different stages of Patrick Delaney's life was well done and very convincing. The writing style allowed you to actually be able to sympathize, even empathize, with the emotions the characters were going through. The book was definitely one to pull at the heart strings.

I was surprised that the heaviness of the WWI inclusion did not bother me more as I generally avoid such movies and books. However, it was writ...more
Nancy
It seems so thin to call this a history/romance since it is so much more.
Patrick Delaney is an 81-year-old living in a nursing home and he is also a veteran of World War I. During that war he listened to his friend and comrade in arms, Daniel, talk about his fiance, Julia.
Ten years after the war, when Patrick is married and Daniel dead, Patrick meets Julia in France and the two have a brief but intense love affair. Their relationship is more than just an affair, but Patrick returns home to...more
Bonnie
I loved this book! I didn't really read the book as much as I inhaled it. From the very first paragraphs, I was hooked and could barely put it down. I am a slow, methodical reader and am frustrated by editing mistakes and poor grammar, but found none. What I did find was that I had to read over sentences and sometimes whole paragraphs because they were so beautifully written, I needed to disect and digest them. I read the book in just 5 days. I would have finished it sooner but it was during the...more
Joy
This book was good-ish. I connected with the main character at first and the love story between him and Julia was very compelling. However, I could never really completely like him because of the affair. I never could like a character who has had an affair, whatever their reason may be. I did like how the story jumped from the battlefield to France ten years after the war to the present day. It was intriguing to read the separate pieces and see the changes taking place in Patrick. I also liked t...more
Leslie Bonato
This book haunted me - it haunted my thoughts and my dreams with its description of war and growing old. The book is about war, love and old age. The author's description of WWI and trench warfare were heartbreaking. It's also a book of how fast time flies and how fast we grow old. The main character narrates the book and it's about his life - starting from WWI and ending at the age of 80 in a nursing home. It's also a love story and the powerful attraction of that "one" person who makes your wh...more
Lansing Public Library
From the battlefields of World War I to a present day nursing home, Patrick Delaney describes his longtime love for Julia, the wife of his best friend, Daniel, as he meets her as a young widow at a memorial service at Verdun, France, through their brief time together to their ultimate separation and its impact on his life.

Group rated this high a 5

Several people needed time to process this book after they finished reading it. They loved the authors writing style, his insight of WWI and the humor...more
Melissa
I'm a sucker for love stories, and when set in Paris, it just gets better. But this is more than a love story: it's also a story of war (WWI), growing old, and coming to terms with death. The story is told in three time settings: the French battlegrounds during WWI, Paris 10 years later, and then a nursing home some 60 plus years hence when Patrick, dying of stomach cancer, contemplates his life and his long lost love. A tearjerker.
Suzanne
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Laini
Deliberately paced, beautifully written, and poignant.

There is one scene here, written in rapid-fire prose, with staccato dialog (no tags) that has to be the best representation I've ever read of WWI trench warfare-- the terrifying maneuvers up and over the top of the trench, dashing across no-man's land, seeing friends being blown to bits, being shot, getting tangled in barbed wire, and dying in front of you.
Eileen
One of the best novels I've ever read in my life. It's a love story about an old man reminiscing about the woman he loved long ago. I was completely captivated by it that I sobbed at the end. I remember WHERE I finished reading it - on the beach in Malibu California - which is why I know when I read it.
Bonnie
This is a wonderful novel dealing with love, war, family, youth and old age as seen through the eyes of Patrick Delaney. We first see him as a nineteen-year-old off to fight in the first world war. He describes with sickening detail the battles on the front line with Germany. His best friend was Daniel who was in love with Julia. When Daniel was killed in action, Patrick met her at a memorial dedicated to those who died in WWI and started a relationship with her. the action shifts between scenes...more
Jacki
This book was chosen for our "Hear Book" book club. This means that the books belongs to our heart, has changed us, or made a substantial impact in our lives. When I first began reading Losing Julia, at about page 50, I groaned. This was someone's heart book and I thought there would be nothing worse than finishing this book.

Then I reached about page 150 and it all changed. Patrick, the main character, stole my heart. He is a cynical man, unable to see all the wonder and beauty he brings into th...more
Anne Girouard
Getting old is hell and youth is wasted on the young. Hull's novel captures these sentiments in the story of Patrick Delaney, an 81-year-old World War 1 veteran who finds himself dying from stomach cancer as he lives out the end of his days in a nursing home. Patrick spends a great deal of time reminiscing about the past, specifically his time in the war, and the decade after that when he returned to France and met up with the titular Julia. Patrick remembers those who shared his journey into th...more
Liz Bonnet
A lovely story!

In a nursing home in California, WWI vet Patrick Delaney is fighting new battles: against old age (he's 81), stomach cancer and the knowledge of his encroaching death. This earnest, elegant first novel takes the form of Patrick's diary, in which he details the humbling infirmities of an aging body and looks back at the defining moments of his life--the war itself, when he lost his best friend, Daniel, and the brief but intense love affair he had 10 years later with Daniel's grievi...more
Robert Palmer
One of the best books I have ever read.Some parts made me smile,some made me want to cry,many parts made me think of my own life and those around me.
The story is told by Patrick,an 80 year old man in a nursing home as remembers his life in the trenches of France in WW 1 and his very brief love affair with Julia.
In the war he is befriended by Daniel who reads him all the letters from Julia,she is pregnant they are not married but will be after the war,Daniel doesn't make and
10 years later Patric...more
Lori
Jonathan Hull's novel Losing Julia was a pleasure to read. The main character, Patrick Delaney is an 81 year old WWI veteran who begins by reminiscing about his life. The reader is treated to beautiful prose and the haunting and provactive questions Patrick asks himself. "Is it better to have loved and lost or never to have loved at all?" "Is it better to have loved well for a short time or to let love grow and mature beyond that perfect phase of utter bliss?" These themes echo throughout the bo...more
Fran
I pretty much enjoyed it. I found the romance with Julia, actually, the least engaging part and then the conclusion where the narrator meets the grand daughter a bit of a stretch. There just wasn't enough about Julia to make me honestly care for her. His hero Daniel didn't ring true to me either.

I did like the other soldiers who were together with Patrick & Daniel in the trenches. The descriptions of the war were understated but conveyed the boredom punctuated with intense fear very aptly.

Pa...more
Laura
I had a very hard time starting this book, which I think I got by searching for highly rated books on amazon.com. Let me sum up the beginning, where the married Patrick meets his dead best friend's fiancee for the first time; Julia smiled; I wanted her. Julia walked; I wanted her. Julia picked her nose; I loved her completely and totally. The Julia part of this book is total drivel, like a Harlequin romance written from a guy's point of view. Zero stars for the Julia part.

So, I picked this book...more
Jamie Langes
Poingnant

One of my favorite books in rotation to read at least once a year, Losing Julia is the very definition of poignant. The tale is also not "just another war love story." It is extremely unique in structure; the story revolves around three time periods of the author's life - the war, 10 years after the war, and when he is at the end of his life. In particular, the unique perspective of the narrator while at the end of his life is incredibly vivid.

Although the perspectives of the narrator c...more
Pmalcpoet Pat Malcolm
This book represents the very best in historical fiction. The history of World War I, "The Great War," in France is accurate and presented in a way that is intrinsic to the story line. The story moves on its own, is interesting and compelling. The author draws some interesting conclusions, and presents thought-provoking insights on life, love, war, and especially on aging and death. My grandfather was stationed in France during that period, and earned a Purple Heart. I can't imagine what it must...more
Barb
A phenomenal read. I really liked the story, but found the real value of this book is the author's ability to give voice to a reader's most personal inner thoughts. I don't have words to describe how it touched me. You can read it as a good story, I read it as more of a personal introspection about how humans think, feel, and cope. Even though your personal story and circumstance may be incredibly different than Patrick's, you identify with his inner coping mechanisms as he experiences love, hop...more
Pat
This book intrigued me when I read the cover excerpt, and I found that it more than fulfilled its initial promise. It is quite touching, thought-provoking and very well written. It gives the reader insights into many life-altering moments and describes the friendship and love that evolve for a very special man . The juxtaposition of a youth in WWI and the life of an elderly man sorting thrrough his memories in a nursing home will touch every reader's heart and deepest emotions. It is a story of...more
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Jonathan Hull is the bestselling author of Losing Julia and The Distance from Normandy. His latest novel, The Devoted, has just been released as of August 2012.

A graduate of the University of California at Berkeley, Hull spent ten years as a correspondent at TIME, including three as the Jerusalem Bureau Chief. His reporting has ranged from the Gulf War and the Palestinian uprising to presidential...more
More about Jonathan Hull...
The Distance from Normandy The Devoted

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“I’ve always hated Mondays, the whole lot of them. Too much whiplash, snapping the tired masses to attention. God’s way, perhaps, of reminding us that we are not masters of our fate, no matter how deluded we became during the weekend respite.” 33 likes
“Like most bookworms I read so as not to be alone, which often annoys those who are trying to make conversation with me.” 23 likes
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