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The Very Thought of You by Rosie Alison

The Very Thought of You (2009)

by Rosie Alison

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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3903641,233 (3.09)63
  1. 10
    The Night Watch by Sarah Waters (mrstreme)
  2. 00
    My Family for the War by Anne C. Voorhoeve (meggyweg)
  3. 00
    Doreen by Barbara Noble (betsytacy)
    betsytacy: Two different takes on the experience of evacuee children during World War II.

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» See also 63 mentions

English (33)  Norwegian (1)  Italian (1)  Spanish (1)  All languages (36)
Showing 1-5 of 33 (next | show all)
(7.5)At the outbreak of the Second World War, London families were encouraged to evacuate their children to the countryside, where they would be safe from aerial bombing. Eight year old Anna Sand's father is already away fighting in Egypt, so it is a wrench for her to be separated from her mother. Anna is fortunate to be placed at Ashton Park along with 80 odd other children. It is a beautiful old house owned by Thomas and Elizabeth Ashton, a childless couple. Thomas was struck down with polio early in their marriage and their marriage is floundering. They decide to set up a boarding school. As an only child, Anna is a quiet and studious and soon comes to the attention of the Ashton's, especially Thomas.
Anna and the other children do not anticipate the length of their stay and it is only after a tragic event that Anna's stay comes to an end. In the absence of her parents she has formed a strong attachment to both Ashton Park and some of the teachers. However this attachment causes Anna to struggle as an adult to form close relationships.
This book was a little disappointing for me, as it falls more into the romantic fiction category, with it's strong emphasis on the adult relationships within rather than the upheaval for the children. ( )
  HelenBaker | Oct 21, 2018 |
Historical fiction is a magnet to me. I loved this book so much, it was difficult to lay it down. I felt right at home with the story. No, I was not a evacuee little girl in England in August, 1939 being bussed away from her mum to somewhere in the countryside. Anna, along with many other children who did not have relatives in the countryside were sent there to protect them from the soon expected bombings by the Germans.

Anna and her group had the good luck of being taken to a beautiful old mansion. She was a reader like me and was amazed at the marble floors and the amazing statues on the grounds, the many rooms and the sound of classical music on a piano. This story starts with her and brings in people like the owner of the mansion who was wheelchair bound, his beautiful but uncontented wife. A teacher who made learning very special, and of course her mother and close to the end, her father.

This stands out to me from this book, the quote from one of Alfred Lloyd Tennyson's poems
"I hold it true, whate'er befall;
I feel it, when I sorrow most;
'Tis better to have loved and lost
Than never to have loved at all.

There is much more that I could tell you about this wonderful book but that is for you to find out. ( )
  Carolee888 | Feb 5, 2018 |
England is on the brink of war, so eight-year-old Anna is evacuated. An independent and loving child, she finds herself as part of a temporary school in a large country house in Yorkshire. More thoughtful than most, she finds herself drawn to the owners: Thomas Ashton, wheelchair-bound and a lover of poetry, and his strict, stressed wife.

Lovely writing, well-researched and realistic. Some unpleasant scenes, some of them unexpected, with bittersweet ending, but overall I enjoyed this novel. ( )
1 vote SueinCyprus | Jan 26, 2016 |
My sister was reading another book about World War II evacuees, so when I saw this one might be good to read while I was waiting to get the other one. I was a bit disappointed. I thought Anna might be a witness to some kind of mystery rather than an affair and a couple's fight. I got tired of the backstories of all the secondary characters. The one thing I did like was the author's poems and poetic prose. She did a good job in describing the estate and grounds of Ashton Place. ( )
  eliorajoy | Oct 23, 2015 |
On the whole, I thought this book was OK but it had promise to be something more. There seemed to be too many point-of-view characters—Anna, Rebecca, Thomas, Elizabeth, even Ruth Weir here and there, so everyone remained a bit flat and unfocused. ( )
  mari_reads | Oct 18, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 33 (next | show all)
Assiduous research is evident in Alison’s novel, together with the influences of D H Lawrence, Elizabeth Bowen, Olivia Manning, L P Hartley and Mary Wesley. Her story is elegantly constructed, with a plangent dying fall of a twist in the final scene, and richly patinated with the desires and regrets of country-house living. The trouble is Alison’s characters. There are far too many of them, and they all have the same problem – of being out of love with the person that they’re married to, and keen to hook up with someone else.

» Add other authors

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Rosie Alisonprimary authorall editionscalculated
Brovelli, ChiaraTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hill, ToniTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Quintano, KristinaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Verheij, BoukjeTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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For my daughter Lucy
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Any visitor travelling north from York will pass through a flat vale of farmland before rising steeply onto the wide upload plateau of the North Yorkshire Moors.
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Book description
England, 31st August 1939: The world is on the brink of war. As Hitler prepares to invade Poland, thousands of children are evacuated from London to escape the impending Blitz. Torn from her mother, eight-year-old Anna Sands is relocated with other children to a large Yorkshire estate which has been opened up to evacuees by Thomas and Elizabeth Ashton, an enigmatic, childless couple. Soon Anna gets drawn into their unraveling relationship, seeing things that are not meant for her eyes and finding herself part-witness and part-accomplice to a love affair with unforeseen consequences. A story of longing, loss, and complicated loyalties, combining a sweeping narrative with subtle psychological observation, The Very Thought of You is not just a love story but a story about love.
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On the eve of World War II, 8 year-old Anna is relocated from London to the Yorkshire estate of Thomas and Elizabeth Ashton, an enigmatic childless couple. Soon Anna gets drawn into their unhappy relationship.

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