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Review: The Heroes' Welcome by Louisa Young

Title: The Heroes' Welcome
Author: Louisa Young
Year Published: 2015

Genre: Adult fiction
Pages: 260
Rating: 4 out of 5

Location (my 2015 Google Reading map)UK

FTC Disclosure: I bought this book with my own money

Summary (from the back of the book): April 1919. Six months have passed since the armistice that ended the Great War. But new battle face those who have survived. Only twenty-three, former soldier Riley Purefoy and his bride, Nadine Waveney, have their whole lives ahead of them. But Riley's injuries from the war have created awkward tensions between the couple, scars that threaten to shatter their marriage before it has truly begun.

Peter and Julia Locke are facing their own trauma. Peter has become a recluse, losing himself in drink to forget the horrors of the war. Desperate to reach her husband, Julia tries to soothe his bitterness, but their future together is uncertain. This is a follow-up to My Dear I Wanted to Tell You.

Review: I really enjoy reading things all World War I and I was excited to read this one since it sounded right up my alley. I didn't realize that it was a second book in a series (the third one is in the planning stages), but that didn't matter as I picked up on the characters and story easily.

I didn't love this book the way I wanted to. I liked it though. The book centers on 5 main characters: Julia and Peter, Rose (Peter's cousin), and Nadine and Riley; we get to hear the story from everyone's perspective at some point, which I like. Each of these characters shows us how war, and the Great War in particular, affected everyone, from the foot soldier to the field nurse to the home front spouse. Although I totally understand Peter's emotional shell shock I was still frustrated that he couldn't function at all. I feel bad that I didn't have tolerance for him. I really liked Nadine and Riley. They had major stumbling blocks in their relationship, but they were able to be honest with one another and work through them.

It's funny, it's a book in which some really big things happen, but at the same time it feels like nothing happened. I think that because it's written in a soft way. That doesn't sound quite right, but I really felt like the author captured the time and the feeling of the social class that the characters were in. But, it made it feel like big events were staid.

So all in all, I think this book is good, but not great. And I wanted it to be great!

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