Tuesday, 11 June 2013

Dusk


Dusk by Eve Edwards
Paperback, 400 pages

Expected publication 6th June 2013 by Penguin

Shelves:  
arc-or-review, better-than-expected, books-i-own, cover-appeal, historical, read, read-in-2013, realistic-fiction, really-good, series-or-companions, ww1, young-adult
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Description via Goodreads:

Dusk by Eve Edwards is a beautiful love story set against the brutal back drop of WWI.

A love worth fighting for.

When Helen, a young hard-working nurse, meets aristocratic artist Sebastian, she doesn't expect to even like him, let alone fall in love. But against the troubled backdrop of wartime London, an unlikely but intense romance blossoms. And even the bloody trenches of the Somme, where they are both posted, cannot diminish their feelings for each other.

But Helen is concealing a secret and when a terrible crime is committed there are devastating consequences for them both.

When lives are being lost, can true love survive?


Upon hearing about Dusk, I was really eager to read it. It's no secret that I'm a huge geek when it comes to World War One. I've been to the actual battlefields  (including the Somme) about seven times, so to read a book with this interesting subject, set in a location that is well known to me was a real treat. I can't think of any WW1 young adult fiction off the top of my head, so I was really looking forward to this! 

The first thing to mention is that although I am quite knowledgeable on the subject of the First World War, I allowed myself to relax with this book - I was definitely not being analytical with all of the facts, dates etc. The book doesn't feel all that heavy on the history, yet we still get to learn a lot about the circumstances of those who worked in during the war, especially our main characters, a medic named Helen and a soldier named Sebastian. Rather than giving long descriptions of things, the reader learns about the surroundings through the characters, it's simple to get a feeling for where we are and what's happening. Though it's a difficult task, Edwards has managed to create a very gritty atmosphere in this book - she has managed to put so many emotions on paper and allowed us a glimpse into the mind of someone at war.

It did take me a little while to really get into this book and to adjust to the historical aspect, but that's normal for me when reading historical books. There is a reasonable amount of moving backwards and forwards through time and switching between narratives, both of which I often struggle with, but it felt natural in this book and everything seemed to flow well. All of my worries concerning possible confusion were gone when I was quarter of the way into the  novel and the more I read, the more I sunk deeply into the setting of pre-war England and the development of World War One.

As aforementioned, our main characters are Helen and Sebastian. Helen is a somewhat reserved girl with a troubled past, who seems to come to life when she meets Sebastian,  an aristocratic and very charming artist living in London. It doesn't take all that long for both Helen and Sebastian to become accustomed to each other, soon we both get to see deeper layers of both of the characters as a romantic bond forms between them and they start to become less reserved and more open. Unfortunately, that's when the War begins and threatens not only their relationship, but their lives. Helen and Sebastian are both very likeable characters, who I found only to become more endearing as the book progressed. Helen appears to be a little shy, but it's very clear that she's also determined and can become quite fiery and passionate. Sebastian was simply, in one word, charming. 

So, as I hope you can tell, I really enjoyed this book and I'm definitely looking forward to the next instalment, Dawn. I do have to warn you that there is a bit of a cliffhanger at the end of this one, so it's definitely going to be difficult to wait to see what happens!  I'd really recommend this to anyone who wants to get a feel for the Great War, or who is just interested in historical fiction. I think this would be a great book for anyone who is studying this particular period of history at school, too. It's great to read about the people at home and the people behind the front lines, as well as those who are right at the front.

2 comments:

  1. Ooh, I started this book awhile ago and then had to put it down to read a book for a blog tour but you've just reminded me that I never went back to this and that I really want to. It's the first book I've (started to!) read by this author, but I'm now really curious about her other books..

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