In Memoriam by Alice Winn
I am calling my book of the year early. I fell hard and fast for Gaunt and Ellwood. This is a story about friendship, love and bravery. About devastating loss. There is so much in this book to admire. Unflinching scenes of war tempered by moments of pure joy. I will read this book again and again and again, once I've stopped sobbing. A triumph.
From the back
In 1914, war feels far away to Henry Gaunt and Sidney Ellwood. They're too young to enlist, and anyway, Gaunt is fighting his own private battle - an all-consuming infatuation with the dreamy, poetic Ellwood - not having a clue that his best friend is in love with him, always has been.
When Gaunt's mother asks him to enlist in the British army to protect the family from anti-German attacks, he signs up immediately, relieved to escape his overwhelming feelings. But Ellwood and their classmates soon follow him into the horrors of trenches. Though Ellwood and Gaunt find fleeting moments of solace in one another, their friends are dying in front of them, and at any moment they could be next.
An epic tale of the devastating tragedies of war and the forbidden romance that blooms in its grip, In Memoriam is a breathtaking debut.