A combination of historical fiction and romance? Narrated by Greek Gods?? Give it to me now!!!!!!
Hello lovely readers! This book by Julie Berry is a gem!!
It’s 1917, and World War I is at its zenith when Hazel and James first catch sight of each other at a London party. She’s a shy and talented pianist; he’s a newly minted soldier with dreams of becoming an architect. When they fall in love, it’s immediate and deep–and cut short when James is shipped off to the killing fields.
Aubrey Edwards is also headed toward the trenches. A gifted musician who’s played Carnegie Hall, he’s a member of the 15th New York Infantry, an all-African-American regiment being sent to Europe to help end the Great War. Love is the last thing on his mind. But that’s before he meets Colette Fournier, a Belgian chanteuse who’s already survived unspeakable tragedy at the hands of the Germans.
Thirty years after these four lovers’ fates collide, the Greek goddess Aphrodite tells their stories to her husband, Hephaestus, and her lover, Ares, in a luxe Manhattan hotel room at the height of World War II. She seeks to answer the age-old question: Why are Love and War eternally drawn to one another? But her quest for a conclusion that will satisfy her jealous husband uncovers a multi-threaded tale of prejudice, trauma, and music and reveals that War is no match for the power of Love.
Book Title: Lovely War
Author: Julie Berry
Publisher: Penguin Random House
Release date: 5th March 2019
Genres: Historical Fiction | Romance | Magical Realism | Mythological Fiction
“Let them start their dreadful wars, let destruction rain down, and let plague sweep through, but I will still be here, doing my work, holding humankind together with love like this.”
Lovely War is a brilliant depiction of historical romance served with a pinch of Greek mythology. Set against the backdrop of WWI, this is a tale of four hearts and two love stories, narrated by Aphrodite, the goddess of love herself.
WWII is at its peak when Aphrodite is caught with her lover, Ares in an affair by her husband Hephaestus. On demanding an explanation, Aphrodite tells the tale of four young hearts, in order to prove her innocence and the everlasting beauty of mortal love.
It’s 1917 when Hazel first meets James, a newly enrolled soldier and as they spend the night dancing, both fall for each other, fast and hard. But their story is cut short when James is drafted to war. Heartbroken yet determined to be helpful, she enrolls to a YMCA relief hut in France as a volunteer. It is at the hut that she befriends Colette and Aubrey.
Having lost her family in Belgium by the invasion of German soldiers, Colette came to France to escape her painful past. Aubrey, an African American is a talented Jazz musician, traveling with the all black National Black regiment. At a time when hatred, racism and prejudice were in full bloom, Aubrey found himself falling for beautiful Colette.
“Mortals aren’t meant to love perfection. It disillusions and destroys them in the end.”
This interweaving story of four young hearts is full of love, passion, heartbreak, loss, grief and above all hope. The narrative by Julie Berry is captivating, just like her characters. While each of the mortal character is vibrant and authentic and brilliantly written, my personal favorite would be Aphrodite, the goddess of love herself. I really like how the whole Greek Gods narrating the story has incorporated.
The demonstration of racism and sexism of the period has been done impressively. This book features the efforts of African Americans in the war heavily. Not enough has been said or written in history or historical fiction about the sacrifice and role of black community in serving the country, despite facing intense prejudice and racism in the army.
Lovely War is a beautiful narrative of war and its effect on people. It captures every emotion of human experiences during wars.