Remembrance by Theresa Breslin (Review)

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Actual Rating – 3.5 stars

I received this free from the publishers via NetGalley

Charlotte knew that in times like this there was no difference in class or wealth or religion or race; that people cried, and wept, and broke with sorrow – in Britain and in France, in Belgium and Russian, and in Germany too.

Remembrance follows the lives of four teenagers. Francis, a pacifist who opposes the war. Charlotte and Maggie, two young nurses who tend to the wounded, wanting to help and find themselves. John, who wishes to do his duty and Alex, who is driven by revenge. The Great War changed their lives. The war caused them to have their youth and innocence taken away from them when they were forced, or felt a need, to partake in the war. From the munitions factories, to the hospitals, and right on the front line we follow the lives of these teenagers fight for survival.

I am a huge fan of History and Historical Fiction, so I was really looking forward to reading this. I was a little disappointed, but I can’t really say why. I liked some of the issues which were talked about in this book, such as those who opposed the war, shell shock, about women’s role in the war and in society in general and how some women felt when it came to work. It talks about the unity between people, despite class and race. It shows that they were all experiencing the same devastations, such as losing their loved ones. I loved the writing and I thought it made for easy reading. I felt like the plot, however, was a little slow and it didn’t hold my attention for very long. I much preferred reading from the girls story, rather than the boys. I just found it far more interesting.

I liked the characters. I think the best thing in this book was the character development. I liked that Maggie was unsure of what she wanted, but knew that it was out of the home and her father’s store. She wanted to make her own choices and dictate her own future. She didn’t want to be controlled by her family. She wanted and adventure and a life that would make her happy. She was a strong character, but she had her weaknesses and that make her all the more realistic and relatable. She really cared for her friends and family. I really admired that I think she was my favourite characters in Remembrance. Charlotte was another favourite. Despite her privileged background, she wanted to do more for the war effort. She wanted to help people. It was what she did best. I liked John. He seemed like a very nice guy, it was a shame to end he came to. Francis and Alex didn’t really impact me that much, they were just ok characters for me.

The romance was nice. It seemed real. It was a sub-plot to the story. It showed that during a time of war, people hold on to the little bit of happiness they have left. They need each other to keep each other sane and keep their spirits up.

Overall, it was an enjoyable read. If you enjoy historical fiction then I also suggest you give this one a go.

MY RATING: ★★★☆☆
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