Robin's Reviews > Love in the Years of Lunacy

Love in the Years of Lunacy by Mandy Sayer
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it was amazing

I don't often give a book 5 stars, but I enjoyed this one so much I had no choice. It's got everything - a great love story which is pivotal to the narrative, real, empathetic characters, beautiful writing, lush, visceral description and a brilliant sense of place, and last but not least, a rollicking good adventure story, which mimics the sex act by ramping the tension up so high in the second half of the book that you almost can't stand it. AND to boot, a surprise twist at the end.

The only aspect I had trouble with was the premise that (spoiler) the protagonist Pearl could disguise herself as a male soldier in the army in WW2 and travel and live in close quarters with other soldiers and not be sprung. ( I can believe mostly everything except the voice - how does a female sound like a male, unless she's been on steroids?)

However, my partner informed me that he had read of a number of instances where women had joined the army disguised as men in WW1 and fought on the front lines, and that it could quite easily have happened in WW2 as well. So I had to concede that, while still needing to suspend belief.

A book always has an extra element of enjoyment for me when it takes me to a time and a place I'm not familiar with because I'm absorbing new information, and I was thoroughly engrossed in the gruelling adventure of war in the jungles of New Guinea in the second half of the book. The author's research was meticulous and the descriptions of the warfare, the terrain and the desperate grit and beyond-all-belief perseverance of the soldiers against overwhelming odds were so well done I could have sworn that the author had fought there in the war herself.

I'd be surprised if the book hasn't already been optioned - it would make a kick-arse movie with Cate Blanchett in the lead role as Pearl.

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Reading Progress

Started Reading
July 2, 2014 – Shelved
July 2, 2014 – Finished Reading

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