From the bestselling author of My Dear, I Wanted to Tell You and The Heroes' Welcome, Louisa Young's Devotion is a novel of family, love, race and politics set during the electric change of the 1930s.
Tom loves Nenna. Nenna loves her father. Her father loves Mussolini.
Ideals and convictions are not always so clear in the murky years between the end of the First World War and the beginning of the Second. For Tom and Kitty Locke, children of the damaged WW1 generation, visiting their cousin Nenna in Rome is a pure joy. For their adoptive parents Nadine and Riley, though, the ground is still shifting underfoot.
Nobody knew in 1919 that the children they were bearing would be just ripe for the next war in 1939; nobody knew, in 1935, the implications of an Italian Jewish family supporting Mussolini.
Meanwhile Peter Locke and Mabel Zachary have found each other again together in London, itself a city reborn but riddled with its own intolerances. As the heat rises across Europe, voices grow louder and everyone must brace once more to decide what should bring them together, and what must drive them apart.
Louisa Young was born in London and read history at Trinity College, Cambridge. She lives in London with her daughter, with whom she co-wrote the best-selling Lionboy trilogy, and is the author of eleven previous books including the bestselling novel My Dear, I Wanted to Tell You, which was shortlisted for the Costa Novel Award and the Wellcome Book Prize, a Richard and Judy Book Club choice, and the first ever winner of the Galaxy Audiobook of the Year.
Praise for DEVOTION:
'Young has conjured up another rich historical novel and I longed to know the fate of this tragic cast of friends. These characters demand devotion - they'll get it, too' The Times
'A stirring story of war and its consequences . tender and convincing. Well-drawn female characters complete an engaging saga' Mail on Sunday
'Elegantly written and compulsively readable, Devotion manages to be both thrilling and heartfelt - a real treasure of a book' Jami Attenberg
'Young expertly weaves politics, race and loyalty into the family's narrative' Observer
'Powerful and evocative . a must-read' Woman and Home
'Deeply moving . a great 20th-century saga' Saga Magazine
'A gorgeously compelling story of family, love and race' Prima Magazine
'A sumptuous portrayal of love and war in fascist Rome' Observer
Praise for THE HEROES' WELCOME and MY DEAR, I WANTED TO TELL YOU:
'Fierce and tender, The Heroes' Welcome depicts heroism on the grand scale and the importance of the tiniest act of courage' Observer
'Young possesses in abundance emotional conviction, pace and imaginative energy, and these qualities will draw readers with her through time and space, as she unfolds the story of the Lockes and Purefoys on their journey through the 20th century' Guardian
'If you read one novel about the effects of the First World War this year, make it this one. It has brain with its brawn and deserves a hero's welcome' The Times
'Powerful, sometimes shocking, boldly conceived, it fixes on war's lingering trauma to show how people adapt - or not - and is irradiated by anger and pity' The Sunday Times
'A brilliant, passionate, intense examination of what it is to survive a war and to negotiate a peace with a body and mind that have been irrevocably altered' Elizabeth Buchan
'[A] tender, elegiac novel. Others have been here before, of course, from Sebastian Faulks to Pat Barker, but Young belongs in their company'
Mail on Sunday