I actually almost want to read Lovely War by Julie Berry. But there that word is again, almost. You see, Lovely War is a WWI novel and though I’ve had my moments of becoming interested in these stories and I’ve definitely enjoyed quite a few of them, I always seem to find that there are just too many out there. You know those types of stories you could read forever and never get enough? Well, I’ve gotten enough of these. And so it takes a very unique plotline to get me interested enough to pick up one of these–or I haven’t found anything better to read for a while and one has fallen into my lap. And while I will say that there is definitely some aspect to this story that is incredibly unique, that uniqueness is the only reason I want to read it. Personally, I just don’t think that’s enough for me and the reason lies only in the fact that the unique character is doing nothing more than telling a story.
You see, Lovely War is a WWI novel about the tale of two pairs of lovers during wartime as recounted by the goddess, Aphrodite to her husband Hephaestus and her lover Ares. As much as I’ve always loved the Greek gods and their stories, I just don’t know how well it will all transfer over into a story about love told by Aphrodite. The one piece I’m most interested in seems to be the piece that is going to be the most minimal. The focal point, in the end, will be the two pairs of lovers during the war and I just don’t think I care enough to spend my time reading it.
It’s 1917, and World War I is at its zenith when Hazel and James first catch sight of each other at a London party. She’s a shy and talented pianist; he’s a newly minted soldier with dreams of becoming an architect. When they fall in love, it’s immediate and deep—and cut short when James is shipped off to the killing fields.
Aubrey Edwards is also headed toward the trenches. A gifted musician who’s played Carnegie Hall, he’s a member of the 15th New York Infantry, an all-African-American regiment being sent to Europe to help end the Great War. Love is the last thing on his mind. But that’s before he meets Colette Fournier, a Belgian chanteuse who’s already survived unspeakable tragedy at the hands of the Germans.
Thirty years after these four lovers’ fates collide, the Greek goddess Aphrodite tells their stories to her husband, Hephaestus, and her lover, Ares, in a luxe Manhattan hotel room at the height of World War II. She seeks to answer the age-old question: Why are Love and War eternally drawn to one another? But her quest for a conclusion that will satisfy her jealous husband uncovers a multi-threaded tale of prejudice, trauma, and music and reveals that War is no match for the power of Love.
How do you feel about this novel? Is it one you think you’d be interested in reading? Are you not all that interested in war romances? What impact does the inclusion of the Greek goddess and gods have on your desire to read this book? Let me know your thoughts in the comments! Happy reading, everyone!