Alison Wassell's Reviews > My Dear I Wanted to Tell You

My Dear I Wanted to Tell You by Louisa Young
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's review
Feb 04, 2011

it was amazing
Read from February 04 to 09, 2011

The test of a great book, for me, is whether or not I’m still thinking about it days later. I have a feeling this engrossing novel will be in my thoughts for some time to come.
I’m always drawn to books set during the First World War. My paternal grandfather fought in the trenches and, although he lived to be 97, remained largely silent about his experiences. This is one of the themes of My Dear I Wanted To Tell You; the unspeakable horror of war, and the difficulties encountered by those caught up in it as they attempt to return, often irrevocably changed both physically and mentally, to their pre-war lives.
The novel focuses not only on the experiences of the soldiers, Riley and Peter, but on the lives of the women left behind. Nadine, Kate and Julia are three very different characters, and respond to events in very different ways. I found myself caring about them all.
There are some gruesome descriptions, but I’d expect nothing less from a novel set in this horrific period. There are also some heartbreakingly moving scenes. The ending manages to be optimistic without being over-sentimental. It’s early days, but this may well be one of my favourite reads of 2011.
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03/22 marked as: read

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