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We felt pretty much the same. I was in two minds about the book the whole time. I did feel Alex' feeling for Clare but not hers for him. The love at first sight from his side felt believable.
The book has great elements but also numerous disappointing ones. I'm glad I read it but of the four on WWI it was the one I liked the least.
If you haven't read Birdsong or Regeneration yet and still want to explore WWI, those two are still by far the best books on the time that I have read.


This sounds really good. I will have to check it out.


This soundds like an interesting book but I can see if an important part of it is built on love at first sight and it either isn't convincing or you don't believe in it, it gets harder to believe the story. I think love at first sight can happen but that it is rare. My husband insists he fell in love with me the first time he saw me. I took more convincing :)


I don't believe in love at first sight - definitely a cynic I'm afraid, so probably this isn't the book for me. Given my current tbr this is probably as well!


Sounds fantastic. I'm especially intrigued by the idea of the one soldier sent home and framing him as a larger representative of the deaths in war in general. I don't know if I believe in love at first sight, either, but I'm more than willing to go with it if it's written well!


Hmm, I think it would just depend how the book was reading for me. In some stories I would totally buy into the whole love at first sight but not for others. In this case I can say that I'd probably have a hard time rooting for anyone as they make embark on affairs knowing they will hurt someone.

Still the book sounds kind of interesting. I like the timeframe and setting.


Caroline--I felt very mixed about it as well. Lots of things to like, but I just couldn't quite believe the love story--it seemed more like an obsession, but like I said maybe I am just in too much of a cynical mood at the moment! ;) I ave read Birdsong, but it is one I could easily reread. I have yet to read anything by Pat Barker but her Regeneration trilogy is high on my list! As much as I love this era I am sort of ready to move on to WWII!
Stephanie--She's a very good writer and I loved all the interesting bits about the war--I had no idea that there were hospital trains or have read much about the journalists and what they were up against. There is lots to like here!
Stefanie--I think it can probably happen, but somehow I just wasn't quite convinced in this case. They seemed quite attracted to each other but it wasn't a particularly healthy relationship since she was married to his best friend--too much to overcome maybe.
Annie--I usually like a good love story, but my cynical side definitely came out this time around! It's nice to know what you like and what you'd rather avoid--it does help a little in concentrating on those books in the TBR pile!
Chelsea--I had no idea that there was a tomb of an unknown soldier in Westminster Abbey, and I think I liked this aspect of the novel the most. I do like how she wove the story together even if parts of it just didn't quite work for me. I think it's entirely possible other readers might have a totally different response--I think I've just been particularly grumpy lately about some things! :)
Iliana--I loved the Deanna Raybourn book I just read which has a love story in it, but somehow this one just didn't feel quite right to me. I think it is a book where what you bring to it might affect how you respond to the story. I think I felt too bad for Ted--such a betrayal by the two people he loved the most! Other than that there are many very interesting elements to the story!


I'm also ready to move on and wonder if a mix wouldn't have been better on the other hand, I have af eeling that novels dedicated to WWII are not as similar. It's is just as if every person writing on WWI felt the urge to mention at least a part of the same things over and over again. That's why I like Regeneration andBirdsong. They are not clichéd at all.


I agree I felt very similarly. This was one of those books where sometimes the writing seemed to get in the way of the story, well for the love affair at least. The battle scenes were probably the best and I had to skip some of those as I am so squeamish! I was glad to read it, but it's true it was flawed.


Caroline--I've enjoyed all the WWI books I've read this year, so I don't mind having spent a while on them, but it will be nice to move on to something different. It will be interesting to compare--I think WWII was very different, so the situations/stories will be as well. I think you're right that many authors writing about WWI tend to write about the same aspects--it's nice to get a fresh perspective.
Litlove--I usually prefer the love scenes to the battle scenes, so that tells you something when I preferred the reverse this time around. I wonder if it was too hard to fit the story into the outcome--since she had something in particular she wanted to write about and filled in the story. Maybe that was part of the problem? But like you, I'm glad I read it, too.


I believe in love at first sight, but in this case, I didn't buy it. Alex and Clare's relationship seemed forced, and since their affair is really at the heart of this story, it made it difficult for me to truly like this book. But the historical details and descriptions were fascinating, so I thought it was pretty good overall.

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