The Very White of Love

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 25 Apr 2019

Member Reviews

The Very White of Love is a true story based on letters sent between Martin and Nancy during the Second World War. The couple meet a year before war breaks out and we follow their relationship as Martin is at University and Nancy works as a typist in london. The letters then follow their lives as Martin signs up, and travels to France after army training, while Nancy remains in England. 
The story has a very effective way of illustrating how war turns everybody’s lives upside down and how planning for the future is futile. It also highlights the frustration felt by people who are desperately trying to find out information about their loved ones, but none is forthcoming. In this time when everyone is instantly contactable through smart phones and social media, we cannot even begin to understand how that must have felt. 
The book really touched me and created a feeling of such sadness about what could have been. It tells of innocent men and boys who fought for their country never to return, and the bereaved left behind. It illustrates how men left their normal lives to go and witness utter horror so that if they were lucky enough to return, they were completely different people. 
I would highly recommend this book but be prepared to encounter some upsetting and devastating descriptions and events.
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Beautifully written and beautifully told. This love story was a pleasure to read. There was obviously so much love between Martin and Nancy. The details of the war in France in 1940 were interesting and heartbreaking. There was so much heartbreak and loss during World War 2 and so many horrific events. They need to be remembered.

Thank you to Netgalley for my copy.
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So tricky deciding how to review this book. It is beautifully descriptive perhaps more than it needs to be in places. I think perhaps for me it could have been a novella. Although completely fascinating I found too much of the book related to a historical, factual account of troop movements during war. So I guess it felt more historic war story with a love story running through the background and less epic love story which I was expecting. Very clear much time, research and heart and soul has gone into this book. For me it wasn’t quite what I was expecting. Having said that the writer has a pretty turn of phrase and I would love to read something more from him but maybe something less personal.
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What a fantastic read, such a powerful book. I was immediately drawn into this book and couldn't put it down.  I loved how it is based on a true story and historical events are interwoven within the book - so clearly meticulously researched. I also loved how famous people of the era are dropped into the story but with such authenticity that you can image them being there. 

Beautifully written with vivid descriptions. A real rollercoaster of emotions - I cried and laughed. I recommend a box of tissues will be needed whilst reading this. It is heart-rending and compelling.

I highly recommend this book - a fantastic debut novel, I can't wait to read more from this author.

Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review.
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This book appealed to me on so many levels.  Firstly I am a history nerd and love anything to do with the Second World War, secondly the book is based on a true story and thirdly the lead female character has red hair- like me.  I was so excited to start reading this book and I was not to be disappointed as I absolutely loved it but more about that in a bit.
The two main characters are called Martin Preston and Nancy Whelan.  Martin is a student in his second year at Oxford University.  Whilst he is in the midst of a hangover, he rushes to the post office before it closes.  It is here that he (& we) first meets Nancy Whelan and from that moment on, he falls madly and passionately in love with her.  Nancy is about all Martin can think about and when he isn’t with her, he dreams about her.  When Martin is not in Oxford, he stays with his aunt, who is really like a surrogate mother to him.  His own parents are overseas and to be honest they are not that close to their son.  Martin’s mother is certainly a one off and Martin isn’t sure how his mother is going to take to Nancy.  Nancy charms Martin’s family and even Martin’s mother isn’t as insulting as she has been known to be when meeting people for the first time.  Nancy sounds as though she was a lovely woman.  Initially she plays a bit hard to get but it isn’t long until she realises that Martin is the man for her and so the romance begins.  Their love seems so passionate, so true and so intense.
Oh my this is one seriously fantastic book.  The author’s writing style is such that you can’t fail to be drawn into the story from the first word on the first page.  The book is really well written too.  The story is based on a true story and details from certain historical events are interweaved with the story.  This way of telling the story really works and the book has an added authenticity to it as a result.  For a history nerd like myself, this book was very interesting as despite the fact that I studied A Level Modern History, which included the Second World War, there were details within the book that I hadn’t previously either known or realised.  The saying ‘you learn something new every day’ is certainly true in this instance.  I also loved the way in which famous people from that era make an appearance and are acquaintances of the couple.  The author uses such vivid descriptions that I was swept along by the story and I really did feel as if I had been transported back to the late 1930s.  Everything that the characters went through, I felt as though I went through and the feelings that the characters felt were similar to how I felt reading the book.  Once I picked up the book and started to read, I found myself addicted to the story.  I just had to get my next fix of reading ‘The Very White Of Love’.  I would pick the book up with the intention of only reading a chapter or two but 4 chapters later I would still be sat there.  I just had to read on to see what fate had in store for Martin and Nancy and if they got the happy ever after that they so deserved.  It’s just as well that I had a box of tissues handy whilst I was reading the book because this book really did take me on one hell of an emotional rollercoaster ride.
As previously mentioned, I absolutely loved reading ‘The Very White Of Love’ and I will strongly recommend it to other readers.  The score on the Ginger Book Geek board for such a fantastic book, just has to be 5* out of 5*.
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What an amazing book.
It is one of those books that you will never forget especially as it is a true story .
It tells of the resilience of love no matter the consequences but also of the horrors of war not only for those fighting but also for those loved ones waiting at home. 
More importantly for future generations it is a history lesson of which little is known. Current generations know about Dunkirk and the evacuation of our British troops but few are aware of the brave men who gave up their lives by holding back the German army by at least two days so that thousands could escape.
I wept buckets at the end it was so emotional.
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