In Memoriam (Hardback)Alice Winn (author)
Tracing the love story between two WWI soldiers, In Memoriam is a luminous, heartbreaking meditation on the tragedies of war and the precious sanctuary that can be found in deep human connection.
Waterstones Fiction Book of the Month for September 2023
A gripping, heart-shattering love story between two soldiers in the First World War.
It's 1914, and talk of war feels far away to Henry Gaunt, Sidney Ellwood and the rest of their classmates, safely ensconced in their idyllic boarding school in the English countryside. At seventeen, they're too young to enlist, and anyway, Gaunt is fighting his own private battle - an all-consuming infatuation with his best friend, the dreamy, poetic Ellwood - not having a clue that Ellwood is in love with him, always has been. When Gaunt's German mother asks him to enlist as an officer in the British army to protect the family from anti-German attacks, Gaunt signs up immediately, relieved to escape his overwhelming feelings for Ellwood.
The front is horrific, of course, and though Gaunt tries to dissuade Ellwood from joining him on the battlefield, Ellwood soon rushes to join him, spurred on by his love of Greek heroes and romantic poetry. Before long, their classmates have followed suit. Once in the trenches, Ellwood and Gaunt find fleeting moments of solace in one another, but their friends are all dying, right in front of them, and at any moment they could be next.
An epic tale of both the devastating tragedies of war and the forbidden romance that blooms in its grip, In Memoriam is a breathtaking debut.
Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd
Number of pages: 400
Weight: 500 g
Dimensions: 218 x 140 x 38 mm
It's hard to believe that In Memoriam is a debut novel as it's so assured, affecting and moving. Alice Winn has written a devastating love story between two young men that moves from the sheltered idyll of their public school to the unspeakable horrors of the Western Front during the First World War. Gaunt and Ellwood will live in your mind long after you've closed the final pages. - Maggie O'Farrell
One of the best debuts I've read in recent years: immersive, rousing, tender and devastating. In Memoriam is both a deeply moving love story and a visceral evocation of the Great War, impressively free of cliche. Winn makes such important points about class, destruction and the loss of innocence. I loved it with a startling ferocity - Elizabeth Day
An instant classic - Sara Collins
A tender, affecting debut . . . Winn strikingly evokes the torment and brutality of life of the front - The Times
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