by Winn, Alice | First World War, 1914-1918
Hardback | 400 pages
WINNER OF THE WATERSTONES DEBUT FICTION PRIZE 2023
It was only because Gaunt knew he might die, that he could be so reckless as to kiss him. ‘Assured, affecting and moving. Alice Winn has written a devastating love story between two young men on the Western Front’ MAGGIE O’FARRELL, BESTSELLING AUTHOR OF HAMNET 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.
THE TOP FIVE SUNDAY TIMES BESTSELLER, March 2023’One of the best debuts I’ve read in recent years: immersive, rousing, tender and devastating . . . please rush out and buy it’ ELIZABETH DAY’BIRDSONG for a new generation’ JOANNA QUINN, AUTHOR OF THE WHALEBONE THEATRE’Like looking at a black and white photograph which has been colourised . . . I was completely absorbed, moved, and transported’ CLAIRE FULLER, AUTHOR OF UNSETTLED GROUND’When was the last time characters in a novel seemed so real to me, so cherishable, so alive?’ GARTH GREENWELL, AUTHOR OF CLEANNESS and WHAT BELONGS TO YOU’A vivid rendering of love and frontline brutality in the first world war . . . In Memoriam is at once epic and intimate, humorous and profound, a vivid rendering of the madness and legacy of the first world war as seen through the lens of a schoolboy love affair’ Observer’A tender, affecting debut . . . Winn strikingly evokes the torment and brutality of life of the front’ The Times’Propulsive, visceral and heartrending . . . I can’t remember the last time I was this invested in a love story’ Sunday Telegraph ‘A genuine page-turner’ Sunday Times’In Memoriam is gripping, tender, immersive and, most of all, completely unforgettable’ i, Fiction Pick of the Month’Alice Winn’s devastating debut will smash your heart to smithereens . . . as thousands of young men die in the most horrific of ways, Gaunt and Ellwood attempt to survive the slaughter and keep their love alive’ Daily Mail’IN MEMORIAM is the story of a great tragedy, but it is also a moving portrait of young love, and there is often a lightness to the book, even humor. It’s a difficult balancing act, but one that Winn, who is erudite, fast talking and very funny, pulls off’ New York Times