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Devotion (My Dear I Wanted to Tell You #3)
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(My Dear I Wanted to Tell You #3)

3.99  ·  Rating details ·  188 ratings  ·  41 reviews
Tom loves Nenna. Nenna loves her father. Her father loves Mussolini.

Ideals and convictions are not always so clear in the murky years between the end of the First World War and the beginning of the Second. For Tom and Kitty Locke, children of the damaged WW1 generation, visiting their cousin Nenna in Rome is a pure joy. For their adoptive parents Nadine and Riley,
Hardcover, 400 pages
Published June 2nd 2016 by The Borough Press
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Average rating 3.99  · 
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 ·  188 ratings  ·  41 reviews

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Apr 09, 2018 rated it it was ok
The second novel I've abandoned this year. There's no mention on the jacket of this book that it's the third part of a trilogy so I went into it assuming I was starting a story from scratch. Quickly I was having a job identifying who all the characters were. However, the author writes really well about Italy and I was still onside. Until the mother decides her Italian cousin's admiration of Mussolini is a viable reason to stop holidaying in Italy. Now a new character entered the story - a black ...more
Jan 30, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed this book – I knew I would because I loved Louisa Young's previous two novels. As soon as you start reading, the history and events of 'My Dear I Wanted To Tell You' and 'The Heroes Welcome' come flooding back. Meeting these characters again is like returning home after a long trip away.

Full of vivid descriptions of hot summers spent in Italy in the 20's and 30's. You can see the lake glimmer and taste the sunshine in the air. But it's the calm before the storm. The children our
Helen White
Feb 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: historical
I love this series of books. Nadine and Riley are characters I have come to care about along with the others who intertwine with them. In this novel the children Tom and Kitty are eager to meet their Italian cousins and it seems like a permanent summer holiday. That is until the 1930s when Mussolini gains power and suddenly being Italian and Jewish is not a possibility.

Young develops the lives of the characters beautifully. Peter is trying to save his life - build some sort of relationship with
Feb 01, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: own
The characters are unfamiliar in this rather lengthy sequel. Although maybe that is the point; war has changed them and there’s another imminent.

An interesting setting and time period to explore, it is a shame the different storylines chop and change before they really develop, making it difficult for a reader to invest in them.

April Andruszko
Apr 28, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018
A really interesting read . It covered an aspect of history of which I knew little - namely the rise of fascism in Italy. It was great to continue with the story of Nadine and Riley.
Angela Smith
Apr 25, 2016 rated it really liked it
I had a couple of Louisa Young's books already on my bookshelf but had not gotten around to reading them. I wish I had as they were the prequels to this story and I think having read them first it might have given me more connection to this story as it involves characters from her two previous books "My Dear I wanted To Tell You" and the second book "The Heroes Welcome"

For the first few pages, I wasn't sure if I was going to stick with the book but I continued because I liked her style of
Apr 16, 2016 rated it liked it
Thank you to TBC for allowing me to read this in exchange for my review.
I found this hard to rate at only a 3* but for me it couldn't match up to Louisa Young's first book "My dear I wanted to tell you" which I absolutely loved. I would defintely recommned reading both of her first books before starting this one as it involves characters from them.
Set after WWI, this tells the continuing story of Nadine, Riley and Peter. Nadine takes the children on a holiday to stay with family in Italy, the
Jul 28, 2017 rated it liked it
In this third novel in the Riley Purefoy saga Louisa Young grapples with themes of racism and difference affecting what surely must be the most cosmopolitan of extended families in the thirties. In my view this is a flawed novel in which the themes overhear the content, plot and character. There is too much telling and this at times becomes didactic and threatens the mechanism of the novel. There is little of the lyrical realism of the previous two novels and the multi-faceted character driven ...more
Oct 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The third instalment of Louisa Young's family saga sees Tom and Kitty grow up. They meet and are enchanted by their (or rather Nadine's) Italian cousins. Meanwhile Peter starts to find his own peace and happiness with Mabel, but all the while Europe is moving slowly but inexorably towards another war.
If you've been following the story of Riley Purefoy and his extended family, then you are certain to enjoy Devotion. If you haven't, then it would stand on it's own, but I'd recommend starting at
Cara Jepsen
Mar 10, 2019 rated it it was ok
I had a feeling going into this one that I wasn't going to love it. So I don't know if I went in biased, looking to be disappointed or that it was just a let down of a book. I really enjoyed the first two of this series and found Riley's story incredibly moving. But when I saw that this third book would focus more on Tom and Kitty I had my hesitations. But, trilogy. Must finish the trilogy, right? I don't know what the whole point of this was. The "love" between Tom and Nenna was awkward and ...more
Apr 21, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
At first I wasn't sure about this third book in the My Dear I Wanted To Tell You trilogy, but it grew on me. I thought Louisa Young went off at a bit of a tangent with the 'long lost relative in Italy' storyline and it seemed as if she was desperate to shoehorn in that particular bit of history (Mussolini and Fascism). Her love of Italy shone through, but sometimes the info dump got in the way of the story, which was frustrating and I didn't feel as if there was enough development of earlier ...more
Lesley Hart
Before You Go

This is the third in the series and is very powerful, including a huge amount of research on Italian Fascism. The writing and descriptions are beautiful and the book becomes, after a time, unputdownable. I do recommend it, but also recommend reading the others in the series first. In particular the first, My Dear I Wanted To Tell You. I have only awarded it 3 stars because there is a little too much tell and huge amounts of unbroken narrative. It is nonetheless, beautifully written.
Jul 11, 2017 rated it really liked it
For me this book started as a 3 and ended as 5. I found it difficult to get into but it was worth persevering. It starts in 1928 and ends at the outbreak of war in 1939 and follows the lives of the major characters from the first two books, plus the next generation. I felt it was a bit lengthy but by the time I reached the end all the characters had become so real I wanted to know what became of them during the war years, so in contrast the ending felt a bit abrupt and rushed. Another book seems ...more
Barbara Russell
Feb 03, 2018 rated it liked it
I loved the story of Nenna and Tom, and the historical details about Italy during the Fascism period and the descriptions of Rome are simply amazing. But the omniscient point of view pulled me out of the story. I found it hard to focus on the protagonists with the constant head hopping. There were, in my opinion, too many storylines, and I felt like it was everyone’s story. If the omniscient point of view doesn’t bother you, you’re going to love this novel.
Apr 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This was educational as well as being a cracking read. The third in a trilogy, this being set between the two world wars, Devotion can be read as a stand alone. The part where Nenna stands up to her father at last, speaking truth to power, is masterfully written. I suppose we shall never know what becomes of them?
Judy Gray
I loved the first two novels in this trilogy. I thought this novel tedious and too heavy in political detail. I honestly don’t know why I abandoned it but just couldn’t keep on going . I am sure others would not feel like me.
Jul 21, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ww1, read-2018
Longer than I thought since reading book 1 and 2; should have re-read since I did not remember all the back story. Nevertheless a meaty, tension-filled tale of politics, family lies and coming to terms with what is not immediately apparent and what ought to have been said earlier.
Phil Whitney
May 12, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Original and engaging

This is a very good book which has clearly involved a lot of research and a love of Rome. There are a couple of short sections where the writing is not up to the standard of the rest but it is generally excellently written.
Apr 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A good read, very touching. The personalisation draws you in to the lives and difficulties of the individuals.
Dawn O'brien
Apr 01, 2019 rated it did not like it
DNF.... didn’t realize this was the third of a trilogy and got completely lost with the characters and backgrounds
May 21, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Devotion is the third in a series of books featuring Riley & Nadine Purefoy and Peter Locke. The first was one of my favourite books about WW1, My Dear I Wanted to Tell You, and the second was The Heroes Welcome. You can read this as a stand alone book though it will be a richer experience if you have read the previous two. And they are both excellent books so you really should just read them! Devotion takes the story from 1928 up to 1939 looking at post-war Britain still in recovery and ...more
Jacki (Julia Flyte)
Aug 01, 2016 rated it really liked it
First things first: this is the third book in a series and if you haven't read My Dear I Wanted to Tell You and The Heroes' Welcome, you won't get nearly as much out of this book as you would if you were familiar with the characters and their history. The good news is that both are excellent books and well worth reading - as is Devotion.

Here's a very quick background - skip this paragraph if you intend to read the first two books. Riley and Peter, served together during WW1. Riley is from a
Megan Jones
Jun 30, 2016 rated it really liked it
Tom and Kitty Locke are the children of Peter and Julia but are looked after by their friends Nadine and Riley. The characters are all from Young's previous books 'My Dear I Wanted To Tell You' and 'The Heroes Welcome'. The story picks up in 1928 with Tom and Kitty growing up and Nadine taking them to Italy to meet their Italian Jewish family. People did not know the children they would have would have to fight another war and that families would be torn apart. People did not know the ...more
Karen Peterman
Apr 30, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Devotion opens in 1927 and we meet Tom as he is expelled - yet again - from school. He is collected by Riley who he holds in very high esteem and who is a father figure to Tom although his father Peter is still alive. Peter and Riley fought together in the war and Peter is suffering from shell shock. Riley's own injuries are physical rather than mental and he has lost part of his jaw.

Tom and his sister Kitty have no mother (she has passed away) and are treated by Riley and his wife Nadine as the
Jan 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: first-read-list
I received this through Goodreads Giveaways.
I absolutely loved this book. When I entered to win a copy ,I hadn't realised that this was actually the third book of a series. It did not deter from my enjoyment at all as there were enough references to the characters and what had happened previously for it all to make sense.
The book is set in the 1930's and finishes just as the Second World War is about to begin.It is set in England and Italy and the writing is so descriptive of the places and
Jan 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book, I had previously read and enjoyed the 2 earlier books, but I felt this was far more interesting with the political build up to World War 2 from the both the British and the fascist Italian viewpoints. The author explored the ways and means that dictators use to manipulate the people using the character of Aldo, who is Jewish and Italian but supports Mussolini wholeheartedly. Alongside the Italian part of the novel, Mabel appears. She is a black American jazz singer and her ...more
Mar 02, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: first-reads-won
I received a copy of this book for free through Goodreads First Reads.

This book welcomes you in with open arms, a big grin, and a "Welcome to the family". It's so full of warmth, right from the get-go, that you can't help but become involved in the lives of Tom, Kitty, Nadine, Riley, Peter, etc.
I haven't read the two books that precede "Devotion", but I don't think that matters at all. The story scooped me up and took me for an emotional ride through pre-WW2 Italy and England. I didn't want to
Jul 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A wonderful book that introduced me to parts of history of which I'd been previously unaware.
The characters were brilliantly drawn and I can still remember them even though it's a year or so since I've read the book.
The situation in Italy was very well portrayed and, like others, I wonder if the ending paved the way for a further addition to the series.
It was the first of her books I had read and having enjoyed it so much, I went back and read the previous two. Although they were good, I didn't
Jessica Adamson
Sep 20, 2016 rated it liked it
An enjoyable holiday read, which cleverly intertwines the characters' development with the social and political changes in the years of limbo between world wars. Despite a few laboured sentences, excessive use of hyphens and the odd overzealous monologue, I'm a sucker for a nice bit of romance so the book redeemed itself in the end!
Jun 02, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I loved this. Louisa Young is a brilliant writer, you fall in love with her characters.
Have just finished it and feel on the verge of tears for so many reasons: why are people so stupid? how are people so brave? where does true courage come from?
An interesting, more than that. A really important lesson to be had from reading this.
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Louisa Young was a journalist for some years. Her first book was A Great Task of Happiness (1995), the life of Kathleen Bruce, her grandmother, the sculptor and wife of Scott of the Antarctic. She followed that with her Egyptian trilogy of novels: Baby Love (which was listed for the Orange Prize), Desiring Cairo and Tree of Pearls. They were followed by The Book of the Heart, a cultural ...more

Other books in the series

My Dear I Wanted to Tell You (3 books)
  • My Dear I Wanted to Tell You (My Dear I Wanted to Tell You #1)
  • The Heroes' Welcome (My Dear I Wanted to Tell You #2)