Lovely War

Lovely War

Book - 2019
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The Greek goddess Aphrodite recounts two tales of tragic love during WWI 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 revealing that War is no match for the power of Love.
Publisher: New York :, Viking ,, 2019.
ISBN: 9780451469939
Branch Call Number: Y FIC BERR
Characteristics: 468 pages ; 24 cm.


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Sep 04, 2019

Ok first off I highly, highly recommend listening to the Audio Book version of this novel. It was so good, there was a whole cast of voice characters and piano music strewn throughout the background. I think the music just amplified my love for this novel! This book is told through the eyes of Aphrodite the love Goddess herself. She weaves an intimate tale of 2 of her most favorite love stories of all time. This novel is set during World War I where two young lovers meet for the first time, but are quickly ripped apart because of the war. The first couple Hazel and James must endure many trails and tribulations because of the War. This book touches upon Mental Health and PTSD caused by war, etc. It also touches upon Race Issues since the second couple Aubrey and Colette are an interracial couple. This at the time was very frowned upon and leads to a lot of hardships throughout their relationship. This book was heartbreaking in many ways and I started to worry that neither one of the couples would ever receive a happy ending, because of this cruel war. Julie Berry did a wonderful job of writing such a nerve wracking novel. I was constantly on edge wondering if James and Aubrey would make it home from the war, etc. This was such a good and bittersweet romance, this novel just had me in tears.

sjpl_rebekah Aug 02, 2019

In the past I have enjoyed both books relating to Greek mythology and World War I/II. Never before have a read a book that combines both themes. It is an interesting concept, and I gave the book an extra half star in my rating for originality.

There were parts of the story I really enjoyed, however, there were also parts that I felt fell short of my expectations. This story is meant to be a sweeping romance, intertwining three sets of lovers, but I did not feel swept away by any of the couples. It is a very sweet story, and I greatly enjoyed the historical aspects. The two mortal lovers are struggling through a very dark point in history, World War I. This is a less common setting than the more commonly discussed World War II.

Trench warfare is truly heinous, and I think the author did a good job of depicting how wretched and traumatizing fighting in this war was. I was less of a fan of the insta-love that sprang up between the two mortal couples. I know that war has a tendency to heighten emotion, but the complete and utter devotion that the couples felt towards each other upon meeting was a bit difficult for me to wrap my head around.

I was not at all a fan of how the author incorporated the mythological aspect of the Greek gods into the story. To be honest, it didn’t really seem as well constructed as the rest of the story, and it did not really add much to the plot other than an introduction of the mortal characters. I think the story would have read equally well if this portion of the story had been eliminated entirely.

In the end, I can safely say that I liked the story but did not love it.

Jun 21, 2019

This romantic historical novel about 2 couples, narrated by four Greek gods, Aphrodite, Hades, Ares, and Apollo, was a treat to read. The chapters were nicely balanced between the stories of the couples and the storyline of the gods, and every chapter was placed strategically to bring out suspense and excitement. This book was right up my alley, with the mix of Greek mythology and historical events of WWI, and it was an unexpected yet welcomed twist.

Jun 20, 2019

Lovely War was better than I expected. I loved the mix of the Greek gods with the humans, it wasn't too much a story about the gods, or too much a story about the mortals. It intertwined the story about what the gods were going through with the story of the love affairs and war of the mortals perfectly. It also included history of the first World War, and did a good job portraying the way the war truly was. It pulled at my heartstrings, and that made me appreciate the book all the more. It is definitely worth the read!

Apr 16, 2019

Greek gods, Aphrodite, Ares, Hades, and Apollo, narrate this story of two young couples finding love and facing loss at the height of World War I. The tangled relationships of the Greek gods, the violence and destruction of war, young love’s innocence, and the insidiousness of racism might seem like a lot for one book to take on, but through Berry’s vivid imagery, historical detail, and lively characterization, the stories here intertwine effortlessly.

DCLteens Feb 13, 2019

A Must-Read Young Adult pick. This story of four mortals is told by goddess Aphrodite, who must spin the tale or face judgment on Mount Olympus. Filled with hope and heartbreak, prejudice and passion, the story reveals that though war is a formidable force, it's no match for the transcendent power of love.

Feb 13, 2019

I had high expectations for this book and it was a compelling read. The four characters are well developed and distinct. Their stories intertwine in unexpected ways at times and the narrative was unpredictable in delightful ways for the most part. It is also clear that Berry did extensive research before telling her tale as evidenced by the copious notes on various related subjects at the end of the book. What disappointed me was the god connection. It was distracting at times and the perspective from WW II was not as well developed as I would have liked. All in all, still recommended for those who are looking for historical fiction from WW I. Also love the cover!

Chapel_Hill_MarthaW Feb 07, 2019

Everything about this book -- British people in World War I! Love stories! Greek mythology! -- was precisely up my alley, even though on the surface it sounds like an odd combination of elements to be combined in one book. But this was glorious. It's the story of four mortals -- and their love stories -- as told by Aphrodite, and various other gods who meddled in the lives of these particular people. At first, as you read, you might find yourself wondering why Berry has chosen the gimmick of having the Greek gods (all sitting in a hotel room in the 1940s) narrate the tale, but as the story progresses, and as you learn more about these people's lives and loves, you realize the novel is equally about the goddess of love herself, and her inability to experience the emotion she has dedicated her immortal existence to inspiring in others. It is beautifully written, emotionally complex, and an absolute joy to read from start to finish. It is also possibly the only book I've ever read that is a perfect readalike for Martha Brockenbrough's (excellent!) The Game of Love and Death, which is also well worth your time.


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