Tara Chevrestt's Reviews > My Dear I Wanted to Tell You

My Dear I Wanted to Tell You by Louisa Young
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Mar 19, 2011

it was ok
bookshelves: 2011-release, world-war-1, historical-fiction, vine, arc, england, france
Read from March 24 to 25, 2011

I didn't like this much mainly because I really didn't like a single character except Rose and she's really not a "main player."

The main players are:

Riley: He has a bit of a same sex encounter and decides to run off to war to prove he's a real man, not a "nancy." I was terribly put off by this bit.. wasn't expecting it. His parts also contain the "f" word a lot. This did not bother me, but I know it will bother other readers. So make a note of that if you are offended by profanity.

Riley loves, Nadine, another main player. This love affair brings up the topic of social class. I liked how this novel shows how WWI brought together the classes and made relationships between the classes acceptable whereas they were frowned upon before the war.

Most of their love affair is through letters as Riley heads to war not too far into the novel. I didn't like their letters.. mundane, irrelevant, and too long.

Another main player is Peter. Ugh. Peter handles the war by drowning himself in booze and prostitutes.

His wife is equally repulsive, though her character raises another intriguing issue: Is being a housewife enough? Can a woman live without her man? She has issues. When her baby is born, she allows her mother to take it away. When her husband comes home on leave and does not wish to have relations with her, she goes bizerk and obsesses that she is not pretty and this and that. She's a very weak woman who needs male attention to feel useful.

There was one thing I liked though. I liked the facial reconstruction stuff. I didn't really get into the novel until the facial reconstruction came into it. Gruesome but absolutely fascinating. I also appreciate the parts of the story that dealt with people's reactions to facial injuries. Can you still love your man when his face is a mess? Will you be disgusted? It's interesting to see how different people react and how others must realize a monster on the outside does not necessarily mean a monster inside..

However, overall, I didn't love the story or the characters enough to rate it any higher. One point in its favor: The writing style slightly resembles Catherine Cookson's.
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Reading Progress

03/24/2011 page 25
7.0% "The writing style reminds me of Catherine Cookson."

Comments (showing 1-14 of 14) (14 new)

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message 1: by Dawn (& Ron) (new)

Dawn (& Ron) Just added this to my list, then saw your review. Uh-oh, its got me worried, it sounded so promising.

I personally don't like excessive vulgar cursing. My current read has that but I just scan over them but you didn't like any of the characters except one, that's a real problem. Talking of Riley encounter, are you talking of how it was used as his reason to join up or how it is written?

Tara Chevrestt It's his reason for joining sorta. To be a man cause he fears he is gay.

message 3: by Dawn (& Ron) (new)

Dawn (& Ron) Sadly that would be a normal reaction for the time period, even today, too many people think a gay man automatically equals weak.

What bothers me is that you didn't like any of the main characters. That says a lot about the writing and has pushed this way down my list.

Tara Chevrestt They were awful.

message 5: by Dawn (& Ron) (new)

Dawn (& Ron) That sums it up clearly, maybe I should forget about this one then?

Just curious if this is a debut author?

Tara Chevrestt No. I believe it is her first adult book, but she has wrote YA.

message 7: by Ruth (new) - rated it 1 star

Ruth I really dislike the use of putting a character's inner thoughts in italics.

Tara Chevrestt A sentence or two is usually done and it's fine, but not like this was.

Lance Greenfield The local Waterstone's book club have marked this as one to read, so I may pick it up despite your review. You never know!

message 10: by Ruth (new) - rated it 1 star

Ruth It is on the Richard and Judy Book club list too. But that does not mean much. In "Richard's" review of it he compares it to Birdsong by Sebastian Faulks, and spells the author's name incorrectly! Who checks (or writes?) this stuff?

Lance Greenfield I don't think that Richard and Judy read a word of their Book Club listed books, do they/ Perhaps I am wrong, but I got the impression that they just bank the money and eat the free chocolate bar.

At least I know that the manager and employees of Waterstone's are reading the books. You can easily tell in the discussion who has read them and who hasn't.

message 12: by Tara (new) - rated it 2 stars

Tara Chevrestt Free chocolate bar? I may fake reading a book too if there was free chocolate involved. LOL

Lance Greenfield Let me explain. Richard and Judy are a husband and wife TV presenter team who have a book club on their show. I think it goes out about tea time. I'm never around for it anyway.

The books that they choose go on sale at one of the Briish book stores who are also a newsagents and sweet (candy) store. The books are reduced in price and you get a free chocolate bar.

I have a feeling that you'd try the book of the week even if all your friends had given it one star reviews, Tara!

message 14: by Tara (new) - rated it 2 stars

Tara Chevrestt You bet! LOL

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