Book Review: My Dear I Wanted To Tell You: A Novel by Louisa Young

My Dear I wanted To Tell You: A Novel by Louisa Young is set in England during the World War One era. It opens with a young working class boy, Riley Purefoy, main character, befriending an upper class artist family, the Waveneys. Out of generosity, the Waveney family provide Riley with upper class schooling as they recognize his potential. However, that generosity does not extend to Nadine, the daughter whom Riley falls for.

After posing for a Waveney family friend, Riley engages in sexual activity with a male, thus setting off the chain of events upon which My Dear I Wanted To Tell You is based, as Riley feels compelled to join the army to prove his masculinity.

The story then intertwines with that of Riley’s commanding officer Peter Locke who is a mess due to the horrors of the Great War and his wife Julia, who isn’t good for much except being arm candy.

The writing style is literary with a stream of consciousness flavor. I imagine if you enjoy the writing style of Virginia Woolf, you might enjoy Young’s writing. I felt this book was an engaging and quick read.

I found that Nadine was a much more appealing character than the rest. She represented strength and fortitude, which were characteristics I found lacking especially in Peter and Julia. There is an interesting contrast between the two relationships tested by war. I think this contrast marks the backbone of the book.

Peter and Julia are from similar classes, yet their relationship lacks the spark and oompf of Nadine and Riley’s relationship. Nadine and Riley, however, are like magnets repelling and attracting each other at the same time.

If you are in the mood to read a literary novel about World War I with just a flavor of romance, I highly recommend Louisa Young’s My Dear, I Wanted To Tell You.

Disclosure: Received for review via Amazon Vine.

Other Reviews of My Dear I Wanted To Tell You by Louisa Young:

Curious Book Fans
Killin’ Time Reading

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April is in her 30s and created Good Books And Good Wine. She works for a non-profit. April always has a book on hand. In her free time she can be found binge watching The Office with her husband and toddler, spending way too much time on Pinterest or exploring her neighborhood.
About April (Books&Wine)

April is in her 30s and created Good Books And Good Wine. She works for a non-profit. April always has a book on hand. In her free time she can be found binge watching The Office with her husband and toddler, spending way too much time on Pinterest or exploring her neighborhood.

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