Have not finished the book but enjoying it so far.
I'd like to know what made Adele choose to write this book, it is so different to other books she has written and was it more difficult to write because of that?
I think the very fact that WW1 is rarely discussed from a female view point was an incredibly compelling factor for me in deciding to write this novel. I like to take a look at things we think we know from a different angle. I used to think of WW1 as remote, masculine and unfathomable. When I was 13 I went on a school trip to France and visited some of the graves of the men that died in battles, there were literally tens of thousands of them. I was struck by the uniformity but, at the time, I didn’t think of that as interestingly equalitarian (which I do now understand and value) I thought it was simply overwhelming. The men the graves honoured remained inaccessible. It was only four or five years ago that I started to think about the stories behind the gravestones and then not the men alone. As a writer who has always been most interested in women’s psychology, women’s stories and experiences I started to think about the wives, lovers, mothers and daughters connected to the men in the graves. The women the men left behind. I’ve always been interested in survival and rebuilding, a reoccurring theme in many of my novels, that’s what I wanted to concentrate on - putting the pieces back together after a catastrophe. In the past I’ve stuck to writing about domestic catastrophes, like infidelity, illness or abandonment, this novel is obviously on a much more ambitious scale. Although this is a departure I’m very certain that this is the novel I have always wanted to write I now know WW1 to be infinitely fascinating, heart-breaking and gripping.