I truly enjoyed this one. It's passionate, it's tragic, it's wonderful. The author's description in the preface really piqued my interest (signed by Natalie): "Early on the morning of October 18,1980, in a clearing near a woods in eastern France, I found the body of an elderly American named Patrick Delaney slumped against a small granite monument that honors the names of 152 American soldiers who died on that date in 1918. On the ground next to him was a worn leather-bound diary, a pen, an empty glass and a bottle of Scotch dating from the 1920s, its label covered with signatures. This is his story. - Natalie, December 12, 1981, Paris"
This is my review: Patrick Delaney grows up in 1918 when he marches off to WWI. This story tells about his experiences, his friends, his loves and his family. His best friend is Daniel, who is in love with Julia. Patrick has not found the love of his life so he listens avidly to Daniel's memories about Julia. Gradually, he too, falls in love with this unusual woman who, like the war and friends he lost in it, remain with him his entire life. The war scenes are graphic and sad. Patrick's heart, like Daniel's, belongs to Julia. How does this wonderful story end? Find the answer yourself in Losing Julia.
I really enjoyed this book -- it's narrated in first person from an older man recalling a woman he first knew of through letters his best friend received from her on the battlefield in WWII. A very different love story. It's one of those books that I think of often and won't ever forget.
This book intrigued me when I read the cover excerpt, and I found that it more than fulfilled its initial promise. It is quite touching, thought-provoking and very well written. It gives the reader insights into many life-altering moments and describes the friendship and love that evolve for a very special man . The juxtaposition of a youth in WWI and the life of an elderly man sorting thrrough his memories in a nursing home will touch every reader's heart and deepest emotions. It is a story of courage and honor. I am still thinking about the passage that described Michaelangelo when asked why he had a chisel. His response was that he was going to "free an angel." This passage is representative of the wonderful "nuggets" in Losing Julia, which should be slowly savored.
I loved this beautifully-written book: war, love lost, life-long memory, chance encounter - from the battlefields of 1918 France to current times.
Everyone enjoys a good romance novel every once in a while and I enjoyed this one especially because it was more than just that.
FROM THE PUBLISHER
From an American nursing home, Patrick Delaney reflects on the Great War, his comrade in arms, Daniel, and Daniel's beautiful wife, Julia. Having first fallen in love with her through the letters she sent to Daniel on the front, Patrick knew he was meant to be with Julia the minute he saw her at the memorial service at Verdun, France, on the 10th anniversary of the great battle that left Patrick without his best friend, and made Julia a widow. Though married, Patrick falls desperately in love during the brief but unforgettable time they spend together exploring the still battle-scarred countryside and grappling to make sense of what took place there and what it means to their lives. Struggling to reconcile their love with the havoc of war and life's obligations, Julia and Patrick cling to each other until one faltered step when Patrick loses Julia perhaps forever.
This is an elegant, haunting story of love lost and the realities of war. Patrick Delaney was a soldier in World War I; the bonds he forged and the horrors he faced led to a lifetime of searching for the girl he let go: Julia
can you fall in love with someone you have never met? can you fall in love with someone from letters they write to someone else? what happens when you meet unexpectedly many years later?
beautiful and haunting - love that lasts until you die.
In a nursing home in California, WWI vet Patrick Delaney is fighting new battles: against old age (he's 81), stomach cancer and the knowledge of his encroaching death. This earnest, elegant first novel takes the form of Patrick's diary, in which he details the humbling infirmities of an aging body and looks back at the defining moments of his life--the war itself, when he lost his best friend, Daniel, and the brief but intense love affair he had 10 years later with Daniel's grieving lover, Julia. The diary layers these two stories with scenes from the nursing home in short alternating sections. Like the dots in a pointillist painting, they merge into the larger work, a story of love and death. "Our lives--all our lives--are a struggle between love and loss," Julia tells Patrick in Paris, where their affair unfolds over one week in 1928. Hull is ultimately better at depicting war than--Patrick's memories of Julia are tinged with romantic cliche: her eyes are like "precious stone" and her smile suggests a "combination of strength and vulnerability." But his descriptions of the war are frightening and physical, with dirt dislodged by artillery shells filling Patrick's mouth and flares illuminating severed body parts in the trenches. Hull's research is assiduous; he seamlessly incorporates period detail, referencing the toiletries the enlistees received in their trench kits and how the weather affected the roads at the Battle of Verdun. Equally honest and effective are the unsparing descriptions of the loneliness, physical decrepitude and indignities of old age. Patrick is a winning narrator, charming and honest and direct, and the reader will root for him right through the book's Hollywood ending, where he makes one last stand against death, his final enemy
"The nightmare of World War I, a brief interlude in Paris, losing friends and family, winding up in a nursing home with a failing body and a million memories: Patrick Delaney is the central character in this story of a man's life told in three time periods." ---Library Journal
Wonderful novel about the bonds of friendship and how one person can touch you in ways that no one else can.
GET OUT THE KLEENEX FOR THE END OF THIS ONE. WHAT A LOVE STORY. ALL OF US WISH THAT WE HAD THIS LOVE AT LEAST ONCE IN OUR LIVES. UNFORTUNATELY, IT ALSO GIVES ALL TOO GOOD A DESCRIPTION OF OUR FINAL DAYS. I DON'T LOOK FORWARD TO IT. I CAN'T BELIEVE SO MUCH ON SEVERAL DIFFERENT THEMES WAS INTERWOVEN INTO THIS BOOK AND THAT IT WORKED. I REALLY LIKED THIS BOOK.
One of my favorites, beautifully written. A haunting novel of war and the triumphant power of love. Historical fiction World War I. It will stay with you.
About a man (just a boy) marches off to was in 1918 in France..This book turns out to be a great love story.