They are Hazel, James, Aubrey, and Colette. A classical pianist from London, a British would-be architect turned soldier, a Harlem-born ragtime genius in the US Army, and a Belgian orphan with a gorgeous voice and a devastating past. Their story, as told by goddess Aphrodite, who must spin the tale or face judgment on Mount Olympus, is filled with hope and heartbreak, prejudice and passion, and reveals that, though war is a formidable force, it’s no match for the transcendent power of love.
Hailed by critics, Lovely War has received seven starred reviews and is an indie best seller. Author Julie Berry has been called “a modern master of historical fiction” by Bookpage and “a celestially inspired storyteller” by The New York Times, and Lovely War is truly her masterwork.
Can you recall your first kiss? All that rushed upward from your feet to your face, all that awoke in you that you hadn’t realized was sleeping?
There nothing like the rightness of it. Nothing like its wonder. If I see it a trillion more times before this world spirals into the sun, I’ll still be an awed spectator right to the last, drinking in its nectar in holy jealousy.
Lovely War has sat on my shelves for some time now, and I thought 2022 was the perfect time to pick it up.
So what makes Lovely War different from other war romances you ask?
Julie Berry not only ties real historic events into a timeline of characters you will cherish, but also envelopes greek mythology to help you understand the struggles of war, the blessing of love, and the gift of music and talent.
Aphrodite is held by judgement from her husband Hephaestus as he finds her in the arms of the god of war.
She agrees to stand trial for her transgressions, but only with the intention of sharing her story of 2 couples who found love against all odds.
Hazel and James
Young, Beautiful, and vibrant…. until war steals away so much of what they deserve.
James is sent to fight at the front of the war and Hazel is willing to wait for him, and play her own part in the war.
A young woman who has suffered the greatest as a survivor of “The Rape of Belgium”, she vows to give her time to helping those at war against the Germans as a volunteer at the YMCA.
Here she treats many, finds friendship and even maybe a spark of love, thanks to Aphrodite, where you would least expect it.
Aubrey is the king of jazz… as a black man from the city, what says “the American Dream” like playing a little soul music and serving your country for pay.
Aubrey’s timeline was my favorite to follow.
Bringing light to a young man with a gift who was pushed aside for the color of his skin.
Read if you love:
-a twist of fantasy in true history
-linear timeline love stories
-topics of race and gender equality during WWI
-poetic and lyrical writing
-to swoon the old fashion way… letters, words of affection, and promises of forever
-crying…. lots of it
TW: war scenes, loss, bigotry, racism
I couldn’t recommend this book enough. It will go down as a favorite for me this year.