My Dear I Wanted to Tell You by Louisa Young

71%

35 Critic Reviews

A literate, moving wartime tale in which love triumphs over despair.
-Kirkus

Synopsis

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.

 

About Louisa Young

See more books from this Author
Louisa Young grew up in London, in the house in which Peter Pan was written. She studied modern history at Cambridge. 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 and the composer Robert Lockhart. She is the adult half of the authors of the bestselling Lionboy trilogy, which is published in 36 languages. My Dear I Wanted to Tell You is her first adult novel to be published in the United States.
 
Published May 31, 2011 by HarperCollins e-books. 339 pages
Genres: Other, Literature & Fiction, History, War, Romance. Fiction
Bookmark Counts:
1
Want to Read
Add Critic Review

Critic reviews for My Dear I Wanted to Tell You
All: 35 | Positive: 26 | Negative: 9

Kirkus

Excellent
Reviewed by Kirkus Reviews on Mar 15 2011

A literate, moving wartime tale in which love triumphs over despair.

Read Full Review of My Dear I Wanted to Tell You | See more reviews from Kirkus

Guardian

Excellent
Reviewed by Francesca Segal on Jun 24 2011

Young's descriptions are clear and technical, and the atmosphere of the hospital is palpable, frightening, inspiring and painful. 

Read Full Review of My Dear I Wanted to Tell You | See more reviews from Guardian

Publishers Weekly

Excellent
Reviewed by Publishers Weekly on Feb 21 2011

Young's characters come into their own and easily shoulder the burden of escorting readers through an unsensationalized and thoughtful story of English class, world war, and that universal constant—love. 

Read Full Review of My Dear I Wanted to Tell You | See more reviews from Publishers Weekly

Book Reporter

Excellent
Reviewed by Bronwyn Miller on Jun 06 2011

With echoes of THE ENGLISH PATIENT, ATONEMENT and a touch of Ford Maddox Ford's THE GOOD SOLDIER, Louisa Young's adult debut novel is haunting and mesmerizing.

Read Full Review of My Dear I Wanted to Tell You

The Washington Post

Excellent
Reviewed by Wendy Smith on Jul 18 2011

Young is too warmhearted to leave her characters in utter despair.

Read Full Review of My Dear I Wanted to Tell You

The Independent

Below average
Reviewed by David Evans on Apr 01 2012

Great War weepy . . . the scenes set back in Britain are quite excruciating.

Read Full Review of My Dear I Wanted to Tell You

The Independent

Excellent
Reviewed by Amanda Craig on Apr 01 2011

Hindsight tells us peace will not be final, but Young conveys, beautifully, the universal wish that it might be.

Read Full Review of My Dear I Wanted to Tell You

Suite 101

Excellent
Reviewed by Elizabeth Gregory on Feb 08 2011

Young's great achievement in this novel is to create five central characters whose fate matters to the reader.

Read Full Review of My Dear I Wanted to Tell You

The Bookbag

Excellent
Reviewed by Robin Leggett on Mar 01 2011

The great strength of the book is the main characters. 

Read Full Review of My Dear I Wanted to Tell You

Mail Online

Excellent
Reviewed by Laura Silverman on Apr 14 2011

Young allows us to feel the very pulse of her characters by dropping their thoughts in italics into her prose.

Read Full Review of My Dear I Wanted to Tell You

Shiny Book Review

Excellent
Reviewed by Barb on Jun 02 2011

Everything in MY DEAR, I WANTED TO TELL YOU is rendered well, without self-pity, and with a matter-of-fact completeness I liked a great deal.

Read Full Review of My Dear I Wanted to Tell You

Book Loons

Good
Reviewed by Book Loons on Jun 01 2011

This is a truly amazing rendition of World War I through the eyes of those who fought it. 

Read Full Review of My Dear I Wanted to Tell You

Reading Lark

Below average
Reviewed by Andrea on Jul 03 2012

I never truly connected with any of the characters due to the writing style.

Read Full Review of My Dear I Wanted to Tell You

The Romance Reader

Below average
Reviewed by Susan Scribner on Jun 01 2011

The novel as a whole ultimately doesn’t quite work. A large part of the plot is taken up with a major character’s plastic surgery.

Read Full Review of My Dear I Wanted to Tell You

Peeking Between the Pages

Good
Reviewed by Darlene on Jul 19 2012

Many wounds heal without a trace left behind but the mental images and all that a soldier lives through doesn’t fade away with time and I like that this novel brings that to the forefront. If you enjoy novels of war and wartime romance then this is one to add to your list.

Read Full Review of My Dear I Wanted to Tell You

Literary Treats

Good
Reviewed by Literary Treats on May 16 2011

My Dear is definitely not a happy book. But it is a hopeful one, filled with very human characters. 

Read Full Review of My Dear I Wanted to Tell You

Diary of an Eccentric

Good
Reviewed by Anna on Jun 28 2012

Young’s writing is just about perfect, from her masterful use of description to her ability to portray the inner turmoil of so many unique characters all at once. 

Read Full Review of My Dear I Wanted to Tell You

Bookfoolery and Babble

Good
Reviewed by Bookfool on Jul 12 2011

There is so much to love about My Dear I Wanted to Tell You.

Read Full Review of My Dear I Wanted to Tell You

TLC Book Tours

Good
Reviewed by TLC Book Tours on May 14 2012

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.

Read Full Review of My Dear I Wanted to Tell You

Lovely Treez Reads

Below average
Reviewed by Lovely Treez Reads on May 01 2012

There’s no doubt that Louisa Young is a fine writer but I had the impression the kitchen sink effect of so many themes had a clogging effect on the story.

Read Full Review of My Dear I Wanted to Tell You

Good Books and Good Wine

Good
Reviewed by April on Jun 01 2011

If you are in the mood to read a literary novel about World War I with just a flavor of romance, I highly recommend.

Read Full Review of My Dear I Wanted to Tell You

Unabridged Chick

Excellent
Reviewed by Audra on Jul 04 2012

This book has it all: pathos, romance, angst -- Kierkegaard-ian angst! -- anger, joy, beauty, and an articulation of war that is cinematic and breathtaking and disturbing.

Read Full Review of My Dear I Wanted to Tell You

The Book Garden

Good
Reviewed by Anne on Jul 17 2012

This is a must read for the historical fiction fan like me who loves WWI and WWII books.

Read Full Review of My Dear I Wanted to Tell You

Historical Tapestry

Below average
Reviewed by Kailana on Nov 16 2012

I am not quite as enamoured as I was in the beginning.

Read Full Review of My Dear I Wanted to Tell You

A Book A Week Blog

Good
on Oct 06 2011

Both Nadine and Riley (and several other secondary characters) are suffering from serious cases of PTSD by the end of the book, and I thought I might be too. I haven’t cried this much while reading a book in a long time. It’s horribly sad and beautifully written and a really great read, if you have the stomach for it. I loved it.

Read Full Review of My Dear I Wanted to Tell You

Shall Write

Below average
Reviewed by Abria on Jul 26 2012

This isn’t a book that grabs you by the throat on the first page. 

Read Full Review of My Dear I Wanted to Tell You

1 Man and His Books

Good
Reviewed by Jim Kane on Jan 28 2012

What I like about this novel is the engaging way Young has written which invites the reader into the journey back and forth between the front and the home front.

Read Full Review of My Dear I Wanted to Tell You

The Flaneur

Below average
Reviewed by Tara Behan on Jul 24 2012

Considering that the whole book was supposed to be a love-story, the ending did not have the anticipated finale.

Read Full Review of My Dear I Wanted to Tell You

Serendipitous Reading

Good
Reviewed by Marci on Jul 15 2011

This book had me thinking a lot of it to myself.

Read Full Review of My Dear I Wanted to Tell You

Suzy Henderson

Good
Reviewed by Suzy Henderson on Oct 12 2012

It is an enjoyable novel especially if you are interested in this era. 

Read Full Review of My Dear I Wanted to Tell You

Daily Waffle

Good
Reviewed by Daily Waffle on Apr 12 2012

What drives My Dear, I Wanted to Tell You is ultimately the impact of World War I on human nature, and the society in which such violence was permitted.  

Read Full Review of My Dear I Wanted to Tell You

Press+1

Good
Reviewed by Christine Bode on Nov 04 2011

I’ll be waiting with anticipation for the next volume.

Read Full Review of My Dear I Wanted to Tell You

Richard and Judy

Good
Reviewed by Richard and Judy on Jun 01 2011

Young hauntingly describes the violent and almost schizophrenic world into which young men like Riley were suddenly tossed. 

Read Full Review of My Dear I Wanted to Tell You

Reader, I Read It

Below average
Reviewed by Reader, I Read It on Apr 11 2011

There are other books written during and after the era which I’d recommend before this.

Read Full Review of My Dear I Wanted to Tell You

Booklady's Booknotes

Below average
Reviewed by Booklady on Mar 31 2011

I wanted to like this story . . . However . . . It was convoluted, as though the author wasn't too sure of where she was going with the story.

Read Full Review of My Dear I Wanted to Tell You

Reader Rating for My Dear I Wanted to Tell You
73%

An aggregated and normalized score based on 107 user ratings from iDreamBooks & iTunes


Rate this book!

Add Review

Reader reviews & activity

Terri McGinty

Terri McGinty 5 Sep 2013

Added the book to want to read list

×