If You Go Away by Adele Parks

At last. The sort of book that I have been yearning for.

At last. The sort of book that I have been yearning for. And what might that be, I hear you cry? Well, it’s a big, beautifully written page turner of a book.

If you go away - Book DrAnd as I write this, it is Remembrance Sunday and it seems wholly appropriate that I should be writing about this book on such a day, as it deals with the Great War.

We meet Vivian, a head-strong, capable deb who is trapped into a stultifying dull marriage to Aubrey. She is not only constrained by her marriage, but by the laws and customs of the day, the sort of petty restrictions that are hard to imagine now - a world where not wearing the right sort of gloves could cause a scandal, so leaving a ball with a dashing young buck and making love in the cloakroom has her reputation in tatters.

Her only option was to marry the dull and boringly conventional Aubrey. Then, war breaks out. Vivian has to take up residence in the country home of her husband, there she meets Howard. Probably the most famous conscientious objector of his day, and the inevitable happens. They fall in love. But Howard has to face the appalling horrors of life at war. This is so beautifully done and with such elegance and wit that I can absolutely see why this is already on The Times bestseller list. Adele Parks is that rare thing: a bestselling writer with a great big heart for the big subjects.

Adele Parks will be at Bookish Supper Salon December 2. Tickets from Tabl.com