Lovely War by Julie Berry (Book Review)

Author: Julie Berry

Genre: Historical Fiction, Romance

Published: 2019

Pages: 857 (Note: this is for the Thorndike Press Large Print edition of the book)

Rating:  5/5

Summary:They are Hazel, James, Aubrey, and Colette. A classical pianist from London, a British would-be architect-turned-soldier, a Harlem-born ragtime genius in the U.S. Army, and a Belgian orphan with a gorgeous voice and a devastating past. Their story, as told by goddess Aphrodite, who must spin the tale or face judgment on Mount Olympus, is filled with hope and heartbreak, prejudice and passion, and reveals that, though War is a formidable force, it’s no match for the transcendent power of Love.

“If music stops, and art ceases, and beauty fades, what have we then?” 

This book was so much fun to read, I’ve been wanting to read more Historical Fiction and someone recommended this to me and I fell in love with it. This is a love story set during world war one focusing on the lives of Hazel, James, Colette and Aubrey whos paths all intertwine throughout the book. Also, the book is narrated by the Greek gods (mostly Aphrodite) who also have a little su plot during the book. I loved the fact that this was narrated by the Greek gods, its immediately piqued my interest making me want to read it more. 

The characters in this book were so well written and flushed out, it really made you feel for them and what they were going through. Berry dealt with sensitive topics in regard to characters so well and included some heart-breaking as well as warming scenes throughout the book. 

The romance in this book is kind of insta-love which is not normally something I gravitate towards but with this book it made sense and it worked really well. Both of the relationships were not perfect and they each had their struggles along the way making it more realistic. However, I wish we got to see more of Colette and Aubrey, I felt like their ending was slightly rushed, I wanted to read more about them. Overall the romance was so heart-warming a fun to read.

I also enjoyed the scenes of war and how it not only physically affected the characters but how it impacted them emotionally, seeing James struggling with his mental health after seeing something so devastating was sad but also realistic of how badly war like that can effect someone’s state of mind. The only complaint I have s we didn’t really get to see how the war effected Aubrey and I would’ve liked to have read more about his time on the front lines. 

To conclude this was a very enjoyable book with lots of heart and I really enjoyed reading this one, it left me with so many emotions. This is by far one of the best books ive read this year and would highly recommend you pick it up. 

One thought on “Lovely War by Julie Berry (Book Review)

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  1. Hey Emily, great review! 🙂 I recently finished reading Lovely War and I agree that Colette and Aubrey’s ending was kind of rushed. I wasn’t a fan of the insta-love between Hazel and James, either. But I absolutely love them by the end! It’s probably because the latter half of the book focused more on them, so my feelings grew.


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