Set on the Western Front, in London and in Paris, MY DEAR I WANTED TO TELL YOU is a moving and brilliant novel of love, class and sex in wartime, and how war affects those left behind as well as those who fight.
While Riley Purefoy and Peter Locke fight for their country, their survival and their sanity in the trenches of Flanders, Nadine Waveney, Julia Locke and Rose Locke do what they can at home.
Beautiful, obsessive Julia and gentle, eccentric Peter are married: each day Julia goes through rituals to prepare for her beloved husband’s return. Nadine and Riley, only eighteen when the war starts, and with problems of their own already, want above all to make promises - but how can they when the future is not in their hands? And Rose? Well, what did happen to the traditionally brought-up women who lost all hope of marriage, because all the young men were dead?
‘This is the finest Great War novel since Susan Hill's ‘Strange Meeting’. Louisa Young weaves the experiences of her characters using an urgent, theatrical, staccato style that is probably best appreciated as an audio book, especially when read by the phenomenal Dan Stevens, who invests the characters with an immediately recognisable individuality whether they are thinking, writing, speaking – or, indeed, desperately trying to speak’
Independent on Sunday
‘Every once in a while comes a novel that generates its own success, simply by being loved. Louisa Young’s My Dear I Wanted to Tell You inspires the kind of devotion among its readers not seen since David Nicholls’ One Day’
‘Birdsong for the new millennium’
‘Powerful, sometimes shocking, boldly conceived, it fixes on war’s lingering trauma to show how people adapt – or not – and is irradiated by anger and pity’
The Sunday Times
‘[A] tender, elegiac novel. Others have been here before, of course, from Sebastian Faulks to Pat Barker, but Young belongs in their company’
Mail on Sunday
‘Unmissable … in crisp poignant prose Young explores what war really means in terms of mental anguish, while cleverly commenting on class and sex’
‘Weaving heartbreakingly painful irony, heroic sacrifice, human weakness, vanity, tragedy and the purest of loves, you’ll be left sobbing and grasping onto any hope that all is not lost amid the poppies, the guns and the hospital beds’
‘A memorable and unusual novel which explores new ground in the literature of the Great War’
‘This novel is a triumph’
Elizabeth Jane Howard
About the author
Louisa Young was born in London. She was for many years a freelance journalist, working mostly for the motorcycle press, for Marie Claire and for the Guardian. She has travelled widely and published ten books. She lives in London and Italy with her daughter. She is the adult half of Zizou Corder, authors of the best-selling Lionboy trilogy, which is published in 36 languages.
Customer ReviewsSee All
This is just a brilliant book. I am about three quarters of the way through it and am so looking forward to hearing the next part and seeing what happens. Great characters and a great WW1 story - brings the horror of it all home. The narrator is brilliant. I havea really enjoyed the book. Great value.
This is the best book I have down loaded by far. The story is full of sadness and incredible strength, the characters are totally believable & the narrators voice is very easy on the ear. I did not want to put this one down and although at times some of the content is disturbing and upsetting it is such a motivating story, I would recommend this to anyone who likes something more than a holiday read.
My Dear I wanted to Tell You
Absolutely fell in love with this book, bought it to listen to in the gym and then listened to most of it in the car because I couldn't wait! Well written and very well narrated. Ending didn't Quite live up to the rest of the book but it was still fantastic.