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Losing Julia

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4.15  ·  Rating details ·  1,254 ratings  ·  231 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 ...more
Mass Market Paperback, 390 pages
Published February 6th 2001 by Island Books (first published February 1st 2000)
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Darina This book contains more insight into love and humanity than anything I've read in many years. It was a little hard to get into but turned out to be…moreThis book contains more insight into love and humanity than anything I've read in many years. It was a little hard to get into but turned out to be one of the best books I've ever read. (less)

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Average rating 4.15  · 
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 ·  1,254 ratings  ·  231 reviews


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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
...more
Suzannabanana
Sep 12, 2007 rated it it was amazing
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 ...more
Heather
Aug 05, 2009 rated it really liked it
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 rated it it was amazing
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
...more
Joy Adams
Aug 18, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This is one of the best books I've ever read.It is on my to keep shelf.About every two or three months I take it down and reread it and cry all over again.Since my daughter gave it to me in 2004,I've read it six times.It is underlined,highlighted and written in the margins of every page and everytime I read it I find some new gems.I can honestly say it is the best book I have ever read.
Altho the love story is great,In my opinion it ranks third .The telling what WWI was like would be second.For
...more
KOMET
This is a very poignant story of a man's life (as told by himself in hospital in the early 1980s), which was shaped very much by his experiences as a soldier of the U.S. Army in France during the First World War.

Sensing that death may be near, the narrator (Patrick Delaney) shares with the reader the full scope of his long life. His sorrows, joys, fears, and the great love of his life (Julia, his best friend's fiancée). Rather than go into further details, I would strongly urge anyone who has
...more
Ann
Aug 05, 2012 rated it really liked it
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 ...more
Louise
Mar 22, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: romance
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
Sherry
Oct 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The book starts in the present with Patrick, a WWI veteran, in the nursing home reviewing his life. He’s a funny old man and his insights at this stage were some of my favorite parts of the story.

”Too bad I can’t attend my own funeral. What better way to see who really gave a shit? Take comfort, my friends, it’s not too late to appreciate me! To apologize! For Patrick”

”The very young and the very old are under enormous pressure to eat.”

You know by the title that this is in part a romance,
...more
TPLL
Oct 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Philosophically romantic

Such an enthralling love story but more importantly the importance of living life to the fullest. How do we look back near death and review our life?
Laura
May 27, 2007 rated it it was ok
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
Nancy
Dec 25, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: history-romance
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
Nikki
Jan 14, 2010 rated it it was amazing
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
...more
JeriLyn
Mar 16, 2014 rated it it was amazing
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 ...more
Joy
Apr 30, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 ...more
David Patneaude
Jan 31, 2016 rated it really liked it
I've read a lot of books--fiction and nonfiction--set during World War Two recently. I'm currently reading another. I'm writing still another. But stories set during the First World War have mostly eluded me. I'm happy this one didn't. It's a story of war, with many of the experiences and awakenings and conflict and trauma and pointlessness and heartbreak common to any war, but it's also a story of love and yearning and missteps and regret and loss and remembrance. The characters are engaging. ...more
Leslie Bonato
Jul 24, 2012 rated it really liked it
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 ...more
Dorie
Aug 09, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: historical, favorites
This is the best historical romance novel I’ve read. The story is narrated by Patrick Delaney, a veteran of WWI who lives in a nursing home; he's in his eighties and slowly dying of stomach cancer. He knows he’s old but doesn’t feel that way. Most of Patrick’s memories focus on a woman named Julia, the fiancé of his war buddy, Daniel. Part of the story is about the Great War, and how he came to lose his friend Daniel; the other part of the story is about Patrick finally meeting Julia at a war ...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
Bonnie Luckey
Feb 03, 2014 rated it it was amazing
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
Mama J
Jun 16, 2016 rated it really liked it
This book was devastatingly hard to read! Graphic descriptions of World War I from the first person point of view of the main character were scattered throughout, and though necessary to the story, were brutal to read.

The book also forces an inner dialogue about how we treat our elderly population in this country. As the daughter of an 83 year old father in good health, this book challenged me to find ways to continue connecting to him and seeing him as he sees himself rather than just an old
...more
Laini
Jun 23, 2013 rated it it was amazing
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.
Melissa
Mar 24, 2009 rated it really liked it
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.
tiasreads
May 31, 2012 rated it did not like it
Shelves: abandoned
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Eileen
Jan 09, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: own, romance
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.
Jennifer
Mar 17, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This was a tragically beautiful love story set throughout the span of WWI through 1980. I very much enjoyed the author's style of writing although it does jump around instead of progressing sequentially. There are many words of wisdom in the story, and the characters' ponderings and conclusions are full of universal truths for all humans. I really enjoyed this book.
Natasa
Nov 03, 2015 rated it really liked it
It’s a good tale of love and war but a bit monotonously introspective. A sadly accurate yet moving commentary on aging.
Gaye Coughlan
Feb 23, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book and didn't want it to finish. I really liked Patrick - his memories of his life and his present life were poignant, funny, sad but always with hope.
Phyllis
Oct 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Now I don't know which is worse, war or old age. One could end in death and the other certainly does. Daniel and his love Julia keeps his best friend Patrick connected during the second world war in France. Daniel is killed but his picture of Julia is always in Patricks mind as the ideal woman. When he attends the unveiling of a monument for the fallen, he meets Julia there and falls in love with her. They have only days in Paris but they make the most of those days. Patrick is married with a ...more
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Goodreads Librari...: please update default edition 3 156 Aug 15, 2012 06:44PM  

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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
“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.” 26 likes
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