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It is September 1919: twenty-one-year-old Tristan Sadler takes a train from London to Norwich to deliver a package of letters to the sister of Will Bancroft, the man he fought alongside during the Great War.

But the letters are not the real reason for Tristan's visit. He can no longer keep a secret and has finally found the courage to unburden himself of it. As Tristan recounts the horrific details of what to him became a senseless war, he also speaks of his friendship with Will - from their first meeting on the training grounds at Aldershot to their farewell in the trenches of northern France. The intensity of their bond brought Tristan happiness and self-discovery as well as confusion and unbearable pain.


John Boyne does it again! I honestly can't get enough of his books, he is a genius!

The Absolutist is more like The Heart's Invisible Furies than it is A Ladder To The Sky. It pulls on the heart strings and brings you on the most beautiful and heartbreaking journey.

One thing that I love about Boyne's books is that he really gives each character their own voice. You get to know them on such a deep level and you really feel the emotions that they experience throughout the book. You laugh, cry, cringe and more along with the characters whilst reading one of his stories and I love how completely invested you become as a reader.

Another thing that Boyne masters beautifully is that he completely immerses the reader in the world he is portraying. Whether it is the 1940s in Ireland to post WWI England, you find yourself truly captivated by the world you are reading about. There were times in this book that I could really picture the trenches on the front line and it felt like you were there with those boys fighting what seemed like an endless war.

And of course, this wouldn't be a John Boyne book if there wasn't some sort of twist in the end. I don't know how he does it but even when you aren't expecting a twist (I know the point of twists is that you don't expect them but usually you have an idea a twist is coming, but you have no idea what it is. Whereas with Boyne's books, you wouldn't expect it at all), he manages to throw some major curve balls on what can be the most heartbreaking and raw story.

Can't wait to continue my love affair with Boyne's books - not one has disappointed me yet and at the rate it's going, I don't think that will ever happen.






“I think i'm just breathing, that's all. And there's a difference between breathing and being alive.”


Tristan, he wasn't perfect but I felt like I just wanted to hug him all the time. By the end of the book I just felt so sorry for him, what a tough life.




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