Format: eBook (for review)
Genres: historical, war, romance,
Publisher: Random House
Release Date: 31/03/2011
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1915 - Scotland. A group
of teenagers from two families meet for a picnic, but the war across
the Channel is soon to tear them away from such youthful pleasures. All
too soon the horror of what is to become known as The Great War engulfs
them, their friends and the whole village. From the horror of the
trenches, to the devastating reality seen daily by those nursing the
wounded, they struggle to survive. Nothing will ever be the same again.
Remembrance is a powerful and engrossing novel about love and war, from
the Carnegie Medal-winning author Theresa Breslin.
Although I know a fair amount about it, I haven't read many books about the First World War. I think the Second World War was so big that most of the stories tend to be set there, which is a real shame because the First World War was just as horrific and just as important. Remembrance covers lots of things, from women finding their feet in this new era to post traumatic stress disorder, something that wasn't known about at the time.
There's a few characters that get a voice in this story. The main two are Charlotte and Maggie, two residents of a village with very different lives. When the war begins and their brothers are sent to France, Charlotte decides to start nursing and Maggie works in a munitions factory. This is a short book but I was still disappointed to find that there was only a brief description of the work they were doing and then it wasn't mentioned again unless necessary.
For me, the best parts of the story were Francis and Maggie's letters to each other. Francis was easily the most developed character throughout the story and the war changed him a lot, which I could see though his letters. I really hoped that he'd be able to get back home to his family and Maggie.
As historical books go, I do recommend this. The descriptions of the battlefield and trenches were very descriptive and will stick with me for a long time after that. I also appreciated that the history was woven into the story, as some books do tend to veer towards a history lesson instead of a story.