War changes people in ways you never thought possible. It can make even the strongest of men weep, and the bravest of men run away. It takes pieces of yourself and, if allowed, will turn you into a shell of your former self. None of the characters in this book were spared any of this. They all had their trials and tribulations. But they also had laughs and good times. They dealt with the hand they were given, and it was an absolute privilege to read about them.
The two main characters of this book, Evie and Will, experience so much throughout the pages of this story. In the beginning, they are separated by rank and social status, Evie being "better off" than Will in that regard. But they feel this connection. One that thrives and grows in those peaceful times. But once the war starts, and they become separated by more than just who their family is, that very connection is tested. And as the years go by, it gets weaker and weaker to the point where it seems as if almost breakable. The true indication of their devotion for one another will be if they can prevent their love from doing just that...breaking. But if it does, can they ever get it back again? Or will it be lost forever.
Because this book is pretty well written in Evie's point of view, we see very little of Will once the war starts. Except for the occasional visit between the two, of course, and some letters. We do, however, get to learn Evie's contribution to the war, and we meet so many wonderful people because of that. So many other people who are just as important to the story as Evie herself.
There is death and destruction, and also pain. But there is also a plethora of happiness and love to counteract that. At some point near the middle of this book, I had the sudden thought that I loved it. It surprised me, because it wasn't a booming realization, but a whisper, and I don't think I have ever had a book do that to me before.
This is a wonderful, wonderful read. It sucked me in from the very beginning and just made me one with the story. In fact, I was quite excited to find out that Lizzy's story is also available. And I am definitely going to be reading that in future.