My Dear I Wanted to Tell You

My Dear I Wanted to Tell You

by Louisa Young

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780061997150
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 06/26/2012
Series: P.S. Series
Pages: 336
Sales rank: 836,955
Product dimensions: 5.20(w) x 7.90(h) x 0.80(d)

About the Author

Louisa Young grew up in London, in the house where Peter Pan was written. She studied modern history at Cambridge. She was for many years a freelance journalist, working mostly for the motorcycle press, Marie Claire, and The Guardian. She lives in London and Italy. The Heroes' Welcome is the second novel in a projected series that began with My Dear I Wanted to Tell You.

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My Dear I Wanted to Tell You 3.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 18 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Another book joins hundred of others which attempt to adequately depict the horrors of WW1. Good writing makes this book worth reading. Her description of the fierce, earth-shaking bombardments which preceded An offense on the Western Front and went for hours is the best I have ever read. The explosions could be heard as far away as England. Even the waters in the Enlish Channel were disturbed! You can just feel the terror and agony that must have been in the hearts and minds of the men in the trenches. She doesn't spend much time at the Front but you come away with an acute awareness of the inhumanity and insanity of it all. She seems to want to convey what it was like living at that time, either as a participant or a private citizen. The effect the war had on the survivors of the soldiers who didn't return is one story, but the caualties both (physical and mental) who did return is yet another. When she describes what it was like being a soldier at the Front, you feel like you were there. But it was no piece of cake as a civilian either. She is very kind to the doctors and nurses in the English hospitals. Some of the surgery performed produced almost miraculous results. The harshness of the lives of the nurses at the Front was unbelievable. No woman could live like that very long and come home the same person who left. Of course, there is the usual girl friend left behind while her hero is at the Front. She shows how the English Class system gets involved in all this. I'd rate this book A solid 4.
harstan More than 1 year ago
Upper class Peter and Julia Locke have an ideal marriage. However, WWI has Peter becoming a commanding officer fighting on the continent. Working class Riley Purefoy is taken in by the affluent upper middle class Waverly family. He dreams of marriage to their daughter Nadine, but WWI has him on the continent in Locke's unit. Combat at the front changes both of them. On the home front, Julia struggles without a man around telling her what to do. Her cousin Rose thrives with her volunteer work at the VA hospital. Nadine finds the war freeing her of the yoke of class imprisonment as she becomes a nurse. When the men come home, pre war relationships cannot be reconstructed. This engaging historical tale focuses on the impact of WWI on class status and boundaries in Great Britain. The four lead characters are fully developed so that the reader understands the transition from before to during and after the war. Although the deep look at times leads to a slow pace, readers will appreciate Louisa Young's belief that one outcome of the war to end all wars is the breaking down of progenitor class barriers. Harriet Klausner
texicanwife on LibraryThing 10 months ago
This was one of those books I simply could not put down once beginning!A lovely story of a young man overcoming the odds of poverty and ignorance in pre-WWI England. True love. Romance. And the feeling of losing that love, only to face an adversity that most would have shriveled and died from.It is also the view of the young woman who loves this boy, turned gentleman, turned soldier, and her unswerving faith and love in him.What a great story! I highly recommend this novel to anyone who believes that true love will, in fact, find a way! I give this book FIVE STARS!And my Thumbs Up Award!****DISCLOSURE:This book was provided for review through the Amazon Vine program.
storian on LibraryThing 10 months ago
This book moved me. The characters navigate through the horrors of trench warfare and the transformation of the home front in World War One England. Ultimately, though, it's about their lives before and after the war as well as during it. I thrilled and shuddered with their triumphs and tragedies.
Booklady123 on LibraryThing 10 months ago
I received a free copy of My Dear I Wanted To Tell You by Louisa Young through Amazon's Vine program.Young's story revolves around four main characters, Nadine and Riley, a young couple in love and Peter and Julia, a young married couple. The setting is during WWI England/France and the main focus of the story seems to be about how the war impacts them individually and their relationships as well.I wanted to like this story. WWI and WWII Fiction is a genre I truly enjoy. However, I had a hard time with the book from the beginning. It was convoluted, as though the author wasn't too sure of where she was going with the story. The characters had great potential, but were not as well developed as they could have been. Therefore, I felt like I was missing something through much of the book. Often the story did not flow smoothly.One positive aspect of the book is that I did like the story concept. Even though I felt the author did not fully develop the characters, I did find myself caring about them and wanting to know what happened to them. This could be an excellent book with a little more polish. However, since there are so many well written novels in this genre, this is not one that I would recommend to a reader looking for a new read.
hollysing on LibraryThing 10 months ago
How do ordinary people with normal faults and strengths cope when assaulted by the strains of war? My Dear, I Wanted to Tell You is an emotionally charged book about people affected by World War I.The novel reveals the horrors of war and the impact on two sets of lovers separated in the conflict. Riley and Nadine, a young couple in love, have an enduring bond even through they are separated by class. Riley enters war to prove he is a man and becomes the most complex, enduring character. Peter, Riley¿s commanding officer, and his wife, Julia, do a jagged dance between love, lust and estrangement. Because Julia¿s currency is her beauty and she is desperate for her husband¿s attention, she spends most of the novel preoccupied with her appearance. Rose, Peter¿s cousin, is a redemptive force, wanting the best for Peter and Julia. She shows tender compassion to Riley and the other soldiers she nurses. Her relationship with Nadine is particularly touching.Author Louisa Young grew up in London in the house in which Peter Pan was written. She authored the New York Times bestselling Lionboy trilogy for children. My Dear, I Wanted to Tell You marks her debut into adult novels. The book¿s title is from a standardized field letter that wounded soldiers sent home to allay the fears of loved ones after receiving a telegram informing them of a battle injury. The most interesting aspect of My Dear, I Wanted to Tell You is the exploration into the beginnings of plastic surgery. At home, Julia seeks ¿featural surgery¿ to tuck a lagging chin. In the military hospitals, doctors reconstruct the faces of soldiers disfigured by gunshots. Cartilage and bone drawn from ribs are used to rebuild jaws and noses that are blown away. The juxtaposition of corrective plastic surgery and the wounded spirits of the battle-scarred soldiers establish irony. The early twentieth century doctors that experimented with facial reconstruction are to be commended, but how many soldiers returned home with their spirits permanently damaged by what today is known as PTSD?Riley says it well. ¿If your legs are shot to pieces no one expects you to keep going, but if your nerve, the machinery of your self-control, is shot to pieces, they do. It¿s not your will, your desire, or willingness to fight on ¿ it¿s a separate part of you, but it¿s one they don¿t understand yet¿¿The author¿s writing, although full of detail, is hard to follow. Ever-present inner thoughts in italics are distracting and interrupt the prose. The constantly changing points of view combined with pronouns used instead of the character¿s name are confusing. Was the author¿s intention to reflect the ravages of war by writing a book that seems scattered?In any event, the book is a realistic portrayal of the horrors of war and lives ravaged by its impact. Everyday life ceases to exist. To endure the upheaval the characters adopt bizarre coping mechanisms.Harper Collins provided the advance review copy. The opinions expressed are unbiased and wholly those of the reviewer.Reviewed by Holly Weiss, author of Crestmont
stillwaters12 on LibraryThing 10 months ago
I may have rated this book higher if I had not just read a similar story that was so much more interesting and satisfying. The relationship between the war wives was barely existent here and of very important consequence in Next to Love by Ellen Feldman. This was a good read about two WW1 couples and the ways they dealt with separation and serious injury. What was missing was the warmth and strong bonds in Next to Love.
DubaiReader on LibraryThing 10 months ago
Review for the unabridged audiobook.This book didn't really grab me, it felt a bit too drawn out. Although there are some fascinating, if lurid, descriptions of early cosmetic surgey techniques, used to repair damaged soldiers injured on the Front, it didn't seem to add much to other similar books I had read..We meet Riley Purefoy as he is being bombarded with snowballs by Nadine Waverney and her brother. He is brought back to their house to dry off and Nadine's mother takes rather a shine to him. Riley is from a working class background and Nadine's large home is very different to his reduced circumstances. So, when Mrs Waverney suggests that he help an aged artist, he leaps at the chance to earn some money and improve himself. Under the patronage of Sir Arthur, he receives an education and the bearings of a gentleman, but Nadine's parents are all too aware of his origins and do not wish their daughter to become too involved with him.Distressed by the way things have turned out, Riley signs up for the Great War and is shipped out to the horrors of France.His commanding officer is Peter Locke, a reliable man, who has left Julia, his beautiful but fickle wife, behind. She has always been known for her beauty and seems to have very little else to offer. She lives with Rose, Peter's sensible, but unmarried cousin.These five main characters, Riley, Nadine, Peter, Julia and Rose, interact in each other's lives throughout the war and it is these intertwining relationships that form the narrative of the book.Having read other reviewers' comments, I am wondering why I only rated this as 3 stars. Very much like discussing a book at a book group, I am seeing aspects of the novel that I missed at the time. However, as I was listening to the Audible version, I was wishing it finished, and the truth is that I didn't particularly enjoy it, especially the first half. So my rating reflects my feelings as I was listening, rather than that affected by other reviewers.
alexdaw on LibraryThing 10 months ago
Strictly speaking I didn't read this book. I listened to it. And I listened to it because it won the inaugural Audible.co.uk Audiobook of the Year Award at the Galaxy National Book Awards this year. I'm new to audio books and wanted to hear the "best". It is read by Dan Stevens who is best known for playing the part of Matthew Crawley in Downton Abbey (Note to self: get thee to a video shop and borrow the title that you keep hearing people talk about so you can nod sagely at Xmas parties). And yes he did a brilliant job.The story is set in and around WW1. We will be commemorating the centenary of WW1 in a couple of years so it is a good time to be reminded of the Great War...the War to end all wars...when an unimaginable number of people lost their lives...often over a disputed territory of some few miserable feet or even inches. This story chiefly concerns the fictional characters of Riley Purefoy and Nadine Waveney. Really when you think about it the plot is pretty conventional - will the star-crossed childhood sweethearts actually get together? But Louisa Young knows how to spin a good yarn and, what's more, I think, an original one. I haven't read a book about this aspect of the war before. Caution - spoiler alert. This book spends a large part talking about the maimed and wounded who return from the war. The stakes are heightened by Riley being the underdog - but a rather attractive underdog in the beginning - who shows some potential for a career in the art world. When Riley is horrifically wounded he wishes he had died instead and does his best to "save" his lover Nadine from having to care for an unloveable "monster". Beauty and the Beast in another guise really.But I do think the story has merit. Many accounts of war list the dead and we tend to focus on those who have been taken from us. But what about those that are left with broken bodies and souls - who have to live out the rest of their lives with bodies that don't function the way they used to. Whose families also have to adjust their lives to support them both physically and mentally. I found the accounts of the facial reconstructive surgery of the soldiers both gruesome but also intriguing. Interestingly the author's mother was a sculptor and I am now inclined to read her biography [A Great task of Happiness] to find out more about this subject.Young cleverly counterpoints this exploration of disfigurement with the sub-plot of another couple - Riley's Commanding Officer and his wife - Peter and Julia Locke. Peter's stiff upper lip is so stiff when he returns home on leave, your heart bleeds for him and his wife. So overwhelmed with the responsibility of the lives lost under his command at the front, he remains emotionally detached and when the war finally ends, puts off going home electing to stay in London, drinking away the pain. Julia, bewildered by his impenetrable exterior and bullied by her over-bearing mother, erroneously decides the problem must be of her making. She seeks endless, useless and expensive beauty treatments in an effort to win him back. It may sound ridiculous but are we in this day and age so very different? This is the second book I have read recently which does explore women in the early 1900s seeking beauty treatments. For some weird reason I thought this a recent phenomenon but no, the obsession with the body beautiful has always been with us in its many and varied forms.In summary - good stuff. Have you read it? What did you think?
lukespapa on LibraryThing 10 months ago
Author Louisa Young has crafted a genuinely terrific historical fiction novel. Set in World War I England, this well paced book can certainly be classified under romance, but with an emphasis on the masculine. In Riley Purefoy we are witness to the unimaginable physical horrors of war while his commanding officer, Peter Locke, exemplifies the psychological effects of battle, as they fight for ground in Belgium. In turn, the women they love and who love them suffer their own tragedies of separation and self-identity. Through these two principal couples we confront what constitutes beauty, courage and a life worth living amid the inhumanity of the Great War.
davidroche on LibraryThing 11 months ago
Also brilliant and deserves to be a huge success in 2011. Everyone should read it and pass it on.
elkiedee on LibraryThing 11 months ago
This moving historical novel tells the story of 5 people during World War I, and the opportunities, dangers and changes they face.Working class Riley Purefoy has had a grammar school education, and an insight into upper middle class artistic life. He has known Nadine Waveney since they met playing in Kensington Gardens as children, but her wealthy parents¿ bohemian principles have their limits, and when they suspect a romantic attraction the two are kept apart. Nadine wants to study art at college but her mother is concerned that she shouldn¿t jeopardise her prospects of a suitable marriage. Riley enlists and Nadine signs up as a VAD, a volunteer nurse. Peter Locke is Riley¿s commanding officer, a rather sensitive soul, perhaps too sensitive. Julia is his beautiful wife, but what does a woman for whom this description has been a full time occupation do when he is away from her? Rose is Peter¿s plain cousin, for whom the war offers the chance to be a person making a valuable contribution, not just a spinster.The title is taken from a form letter designed to help wounded soldiers write to their loved ones, and letters to and from the characters are used throughout the novel, shaping how we see the characters. Peter and Julia¿s letters are significant for showing how little they know how to communicate with each other, and how far apart their worlds are now. Riley and Nadine exchange more interesting letters, and I really liked Nadine¿s willingness to tell Riley how she felt, including expressing anger with him as well as love.Many of the ingredients of Louisa Young¿s novel are familiar to anyone who has read much about WWI, but I found it a powerful, absorbing page turner. I liked Riley and Nadine much more than Peter and the foolish Julia. I would have liked to see Rose have more of a story in her own right; I felt that she stayed more of an observer and commentator on the stories of others in the novel.Clearly Young has researched extensively, and she uses this to good effect in informing the fiction and evoking the setting. I liked the critique of class divisions made in the novel, especially in Riley¿s story. Nadine¿s support for feminist causes of her day made her my favourite character.Young also brings in a story about the development of plastic surgery, originally as a treatment for soldiers disfigured in combat, although this is contrasted with it being offered, almost immediately, as a cosmetic treatment for non-combatants obsessed with their looks.My Dear I Wanted to Tell You is a fascinating historical novel and a memorable love story. Recommended.I received my copy of this book free through the Amazon Vine programme.
nicx27 on LibraryThing 11 months ago
This is the story of Riley Purefoy, a young working class boy who meets an upper class family, the Waveneys, and falls for Nadine, their daughter. When World War I breaks out, Riley joins up (he could choose to join up for a year or for the duration of the war, but chose the duration of the war because he didn't want to be in the army for a year!). It's also about Riley's commanding officer, Peter Locke, his flaky wife Julia, and his cousin Rose, who isn't beautiful like Julia,and will probably never marry now. The title is based around the field card that was sent by injured soldiers to their loved ones - they just filled in the blanks with what had happened, how serious etc. I thought this got off to a bit of a slow start, but then I realised this is the sort of book that is best read in larger chunks, to enable me to fully immerse myself in the story. I found it such a sad and moving story, and it brought tears to my eyes a couple of times. The bravery of not only the men, but also the women, who fought and served in the Great War really shines through in this book and I think the author has done an excellent job of getting across the horror of living and fighting through those times. I even felt for Julia, the one character who seems to do nothing but think about her looks, but is actually living through her own battles.I felt very satisfied when I got to the end of this book. A good ending and a great read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I thought the author brought me into these people hardships and struggles and loves through the war in an engaging, yet difficult, way. It was a hard time, and the wounds were deep and visual. It was well done.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Very engaging book. Excellent character development within the historical lens of WWI.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
nyauthoress More than 1 year ago
How do ordinary people with normal faults and strengths cope when assaulted by the strains of war? My Dear, I Wanted to Tell You is an emotionally charged book about people affected by World War I. The novel reveals the horrors of war and the impact on two sets of lovers separated in the conflict. Riley and Nadine, a young couple in love, have an enduring bond even though they are separated by class. Riley enters war to prove he is a man and becomes the most complex, enduring character. Peter, Riley's commanding officer, and his wife, Julia, do a jagged dance between love, lust and estrangement. Because Julia's currency is her beauty and she is desperate for her husband's attention, she spends most of the novel preoccupied with her appearance. Rose, Peter's cousin, is a redemptive force, wanting the best for Peter and Julia. She shows tender compassion to Riley and the other soldiers she nurses. Her relationship with Nadine is particularly touching. Author Louisa Young grew up in London in the house in which Peter Pan was written. She authored the New York Times bestselling Lionboy trilogy for children. My Dear, I Wanted to Tell You marks her debut into adult novels. The book's title is from a standardized field letter that wounded soldiers sent home to allay the fears of loved ones after receiving a telegram informing them of a battle injury. The most interesting aspect of My Dear, I Wanted to Tell You is the exploration into the beginnings of plastic surgery. At home, Julia seeks "featural surgery" to tuck a lagging chin. In the military hospitals, doctors reconstruct the faces of soldiers disfigured by gunshots. Cartilage and bone drawn from ribs are used to rebuild jaws and noses that are blown away. The juxtaposition of corrective plastic surgery and the wounded spirits of the battle-scarred soldiers establish irony. The early twentieth century doctors that experimented with facial reconstruction are to be commended, but how many soldiers returned home with their spirits permanently damaged by what today is known as PTSD? Riley says it well. "If your legs are shot to pieces no one expects you to keep going, but if your nerve, the machinery of your self-control, is shot to pieces, they do. It's not your will, your desire, or willingness to fight on - it's a separate part of you, but it's one they don't understand yet." The author's writing, although full of detail, is hard to follow. Ever-present inner thoughts in italics are distracting and interrupt the prose. The constantly changing points of view combined with pronouns used instead of the character's name are confusing. Was the author's intention to reflect the ravages of war by writing a book that seems scattered? In any event, the book is a realistic portrayal of the horrors of war and lives ravaged by its impact. Everyday life ceases to exist. To endure the upheaval the characters adopt bizarre coping mechanisms. Harper Collins provided the advance review copy. The opinions expressed are unbiased and wholly those of the reviewer. Reviewed by Holly Weiss, author of Crestmont
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
*Lays in bed.*