My Dear I Wanted to Tell You: A Novel

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9780061997143: My Dear I Wanted to Tell You: A Novel

The lives of two very different couples are irrevocably intertwined and forever changed in this stunning World War I epic of love and war.

From the day in 1907 that eleven-year-old Riley Purefoy meets Nadine Waveney, daughter of a well-known orchestral conductor, he takes in the difference between their two families: his, working-class; hers, "posh" and artistic. Just a few years later, romance and these differences erupt simultaneously with the war in Europe. In a fit of fury and boyish pride, Riley enlists in the army and finds himself involved in the transformative nightmare of the twentieth century.

While Riley and his commanding officer, Peter Locke, fight for their country and their survival in the trenches of Flanders, Peter's lovely and naive wife, Julia, and his cousin Rose eagerly await his return. But the sullen, distant man who arrives home on leave is not the Peter they knew. Worried that her husband is slipping away, Julia is left alone with her fears when Rose joins the nursing corps to work with a pioneering plastic surgeon treating wounded and disfigured soldiers.

Only eighteen at the outbreak of the war, Nadine and Riley want to make promises to each other—but how can they when their future is out of their hands? Youthful passion is on their side, but then their loyalty is tested by terrible injury, and even more so by the necessarily imperfect rehabilitation that follows.

Moving among Ypres, London, and Paris, this emotionally rich and evocative novel is both a powerful exploration of the lasting effects of war on those who fight—and those who don't—and a poignant testament to the power of enduring love.

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Product Description:

My Dear I Wanted to Tell You is one of those books that doesn’t leave you, and probably never will.”
—Jacqueline Winspear, New York Times bestselling author of the Maisie Dobbs novels

The onrush of World War I irrevocably intertwines the lives of two young couples in Louisa Young’s epic tale of love in the midst of chaos. Perfect for readers of Atonement, The Mapping of Love and Death, and The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society, Young’s moving novel of class struggles, star-crossed romance, and the grim reality of the battlefield is a stunning exploration of the devastating consequences, physical and spiritual, of a world enmeshed in Total War.

From the Back Cover:

The lives of two very different couples—an officer and his aristocratic wife, and a young soldier and his childhood sweetheart—are irrevocably intertwined and forever changed in this stunning World War I epic of love and war.

At eighteen years old, working-class Riley Purefoy and “posh” Nadine Waveney have promised each other the future, but when war erupts across Europe, everything they hold to be true is thrown into question. Dispatched to the trenches, Riley forges a bond of friendship with his charismatic commanding officer, Peter Locke, as they fight for their survival. Yet it is Locke’s wife, Julia, who must cope with her husband’s transformation into a distant shadow of the man she once knew. Meanwhile, Nadine and Riley’s bonds are tested as well by a terrible injury and the imperfect rehabilitation that follows it, as both couples struggle to weather the storm of war that rages about them.

Moving among Ypres, London, and Paris, this emotionally rich and evocative novel is both a powerful exploration of the lasting effects of war on those who fight—and those who don’t—and a poignant testament to the enduring power of love.

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