If you decide to read this be prepared for an emotional read in this impressive first novel which tackles in a very atmospheric way the coming of age story of a young girl evacuated during WWII. Anna is constantly searching for love and acceptance, whilst surrounded by others that fail to communicate with each other. I found myself at times urging the characters to talk to each other.
Anna Sands is eight years old in August 1939 when with England on the brink of war she is evacuated from London to a large Yorkshire estate. The home of Elizabeth and Thomas Ashton is turned into both home and school for the evacuees that this childless couple welcome into their lives. Drawn into their unhappy relationship Anna finds herself coping not only with her own feelings of loss and survival, but also those of Thomas who becomes a mentor of sorts to her.
The characters will certainly be with me for awhile and the title is certainly very apt. I looked up the words of the song of the same title "The very thought of you, and I forget to do those little ordinary things that everyone ought to do....".
Love can be so cruel is to me the haunting memory that reading this moving novel reminds me. Not just a love story, but a story about love. As one of my favourite books this year I certainly recommend this one.
Rosie Alison was born in 1964, grew up in Yorkshire, and read English at Keble College, Oxford. She spent ten years directing television documentaries before becoming a film producer at Heyday Films. She is married with two daughters and lives in London. Her debut novel THE VERY THOUGHT OF YOU (2009), which made it onto the Amazon Rising Stars shortlist and was longlisted for the RNA Romantic Novel of the Year and the Prince Maurice Prize 2010, was shortlisted for the 2010 Orange Prize for Fiction.
Author photo and biographical information courtesy of authors Goodreads Profile
If you are interested in learning more about Rosie Alison, I found an interesting interview. Almabooks Author Interview - Rosie Alison