A World Between Us – Lydia Syson – Review

a-world-between-usA world between us shows us the lives and loves of three 1930’s teenagers involved in the Spanish Civil War. Felix a young nurse and Nat, a passionate, politically focused Jewish boy and George, a self established young man with the hopes of one day taking Felix’s hand in marriage.

The Story really begins when Felix meets Nat, her mundane, suburban and middle class life has been broken, and her rebellious and headstrong ideals brought forward. Nat’s passion and forwardness evokes something in Felix that helps her break away from the formalities of her sheltered life. 

After tending to a head wound inflicted by a fascist marcher on the Londons streets, Nat and Felix go for coffee; if I’m honest I first thought the irrational impulse of this unlikely, however after reading more about their encounter I began to understand the reasoning. Nat and Felix both bestow the idealism and romanticism of the young men and women who went to war in the 1930’s. Nat asks Felix if he can write to her, and it pulled at me a little. I felt it hugely important that Nat, still being a boy, needed something to keep him grounded and at home while he went away to fight.

Felix runs to Spain after Nat leaves, she, being a young nurse, leaves to help with the cause and we get a look into the rustic and poor elements of being a medical team through the war. Blood transfusion being in it’s infancy bring to light the issues obviously to be brought with it and the absolution and fragility of life.

Throughout the novel Nat, Felix and George mature and become less self aware and more towards the well being of others. I thought the book was wonderfully written and evokes the heartwarming and tragic effects of the war on the young.

Though this book was written in the young adult genre, I feel, similarly to Linda Bucley-Archer in her review in the Guardian, it is more of a cross over. If you want a passionate and action packed romance, PICK IT UP!

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