If you go away / Adele Parks.
Publication year: 2015
Publisher: Headline Review,
ISBN: 9781472205483 9781472205483 (hbk.) :
1914. Vivian, a young, impassioned debutante is hurried into a pedestrian marriage to cover a scandal. War breaks out on her wedding day - domestically and across Europe. Quick to escape the disappointment of matrimony, her husband enlists and Vivian has no alternative than to take up running of his estate. Howard, a brilliant young playwright rushes to the front to see for himself the best and the worst of humanity. In March 1916, when conscription becomes law, it is no longer enough for him to report on the war, it's a legal requirement that he joins the ranks. Howard refuses, becoming one of the most notorious conscientious objectors of the time. Disarmingly handsome, famous, articulate and informed, he's a threat to the government. Narrowly escaping a death sentence by agreeing to take essential work on Vivian's farm, it's only then Howard understands what is worth fighting for.
479 pages ; 24 cm
For me this was a book of two halves, the first half was quite dull and I found the war parts boring although it was an interesting angle to look at conscientious objectors and their reasons for not wanting to go to war. Howard was a clever and principled hero. The second half after Vivian's disastrous mistake resulting in a rushed loveless marriage and being relegated to a country life became more enjoyable. She became a much more independent and accomplished woman once she donned her first pair of trousers to take on some useful farm work. There are much better books around portraying WW1 than this, I think. For me an average 5 star read.
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