To Go: 39
61. The Very Thought of You — Rosie Alison
England, 31st of August, 1939.
The world is on the brink of war. As Hitler prepares to invade Poland, thousands of children are evacuated from London to escape the impending Blitz. Torn from her mother, eight-year-old Anna Sands is relocated with other children to a large Yorkshire estate opened up to evacuees by Thomas and Elizabeth Ashton, an enigmatic childless couple. Soon Anna gets drawn into their unraveling relationship, seeing things that are not meant for her eyes — and finding herself part-witness and part-accomplice to a love affair, a turn of events that will have unexpected repercussions through her later life.
Happy Thanksgiving to all my fellow Canadians! I hope you’re enjoying your turkey and long weekend. I decided to use my time off to my advantage: after I finished feasting, I sat down to read The Very Thought of You by Rosie Alison. And read it, cover to cover, in one sitting. It grabbed me right from the very first scene, and wouldn’t let me go.
Just like The Marriage Artist, Rosie Alison’s book was also about WWII (I seem to be gravitating to those books this year), but from a totally different perspective. More interestingly, this book didn’t focus on the horrors of the war, but it did touch on its after-effects through Anna’s life post-Ashton House. In that final segment of the book, Alison wove post-war trauma in very subtly, but it was abundantly clear to the reader.
In terms of characters, I couldn’t help falling in love with Thomas and Ruth’s heart-breaking love affair. Rosie Alison sure knows how to write a powerful romance story: I was on the verge of crying! (And I’m half-robot!)
Put it on your to-read list, because The Very Thought of You was beautiful, romantic historical fiction.
Next book: Possession by A.S. Byatt (a book from the Stylist reading list.)