My Dear, I wanted to tell you by Louisa Young

The major innovation in 2014 was the introduction of a second novel aimed at a young audience; Michael Morpurgo’s, Private Peaceful

Louisa Young’s novel tells the story of two couples. The central character is Riley Purefoy, married to Nadine; the other couple are Peter Locke, Purefoy’s commanding officer and his wife, Julia. All four experience violent transformation whether or not they experience the trenches first hand and the novel explores themes of love and passion, as it weaves between Ypres, London and Paris.

Michael Morpurgo’s novel tells the story of a young soldier on the front. Thomas Peaceful is considering his life whilst he is in the trenches. Each chapter brings us closer to the present tense until the final dénouement in the present tense, which has a shocking immediacy to it. It is a story of friendship, trust and futility.

Through its selection of two books following the lives of young men going to war, Cityread London 2014 chose a strong heritage theme while retaining a link to London. Moreover, the creative choices made by the Cityread team enabled people to engage with the historic period in tangible ways, enabling all ages to explore what life was like during this critical moment in history.

Cityread 2014 Highlights

The Launch event at GLA; theatrical delivery in partnership with Look Left, Look Right theatre; adverts on the underground; translation workshops and translations; book give away at St Pancras International Station; the new inclusion of an e‐book version (via Overdrive) and a quick read of the book provided by Quick Reads; event listings by Culture 24; writer in residence & blog with Spread the Word; the Letter Exchange project; Family Day at the Museum of London; Private Peaceful event, Wembley; comic book workshops; author events; storytelling performances; and book groups

About Louisa Young

Louisa Young was born in London. She was for many years a freelance journalist, working mostly for the motorcycle press, for Marie Claire and for the Guardian. She has travelled widely and published ten books. She lives in London and Italy with her daughter and the composer Robert Lockhart. She is the adult half of Zizou Corder, authors of the best-selling Lionboy trilogy, which is published in 36 languages.


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