Describing what is obviously the same event--the nurse caring for his wound, the wartime love affair--he ends with a few terse sentences about receiving a letter in which she says it was boy-girl love, not man-woman love. A few days later, he says, he got a venereal disease from a woman he met in the Loop and took on a cab ride through Lincoln Park. End of story. Not, as they say, a pretty picture, but Richard Attenborough's "In Love and War'' doesn't use the Hemingway angle and indeed could be about someone else altogether.
There is little feeling here for the man and writer Hemingway would become, and the movie is essentially the story of a romance between a naive kid and a woman who liked him--maybe even loved him--but was too wise to risk her life on his promises of future glory.
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Their relationship seems more sentimental than passionate; to recycle a Hemingway phrase that perhaps became more notorious than he would have liked, the earth does not shake. It is hard enough to make a movie about a love affair without a future, and harder still when the audience agrees that maybe it doesn't need a future. Eight years is a big age difference, especially between 18 and 26, and although great love can certainly transcend it, this is not great love.
There are some problems, also, with the way the love affair is depicted. The movie chooses not to deal with two realities that might have made it more interesting: Hemingway at 18 was probably sexually inexperienced, and sex before marriage in was not treated as casually as it is today.
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The screenplay by Allan Scott , Clancy Sigal and Anna Hamilton Phelan chooses not to reflect those conditions, and so when Ernest and Agnes make love for the first time in the little pensione down by the railroad station, it is a conventional movie scene, not one specific to these characters. Hemingway would have been reaching for his blue pencil. Then again, maybe not, as the earth shook. I am always suspicious of stories that take on significance because of events that happen after they're over ".
Hemingway creates a more interesting and self-revealing character in his own stories of the war. As for Agnes von Kurowsky, she comes across in the Bullock performance as sweet, competent and loving. She must have reflected, after Hemingway was shipped home, on her choices between marrying a wealthy doctor or keeping things "spick-and-span'' for a kid trying to become a novelist while living in his dad's cabin.
As she read about Hemingway in the papers, did she sometimes regret the decision she had made? Not if she read the same stories the rest of us have. This message came to me from a reader named Peter Svensland. He and a fr Being German and travelling to Belgium would certainly have not been recommended following the conclusion of war. Hatred, anger, suspicion and revenge abound but a mother and wife's love is strong and she wishes to see the request through until she finds that resting place.
Ruby Barton is travelling from England, leaving on a boat for the first time in her life. Belgium is her destination and she wishes the reasons for her journey were not there. That she would be journeying from England with a happier goal in mind. She is on a tour organised by Thomas Cook of the Belgian battlefields in Flanders, where families of those who fought can see where everything happened and try and find the grave of their relation amongst the hundreds of thousands. In this case it is Ruby's husband, Bertie. She doesn't want to go on the trip.
She is grieving, she wants peace, to live a quiet ordered life honouring his memory and never to allow heartache to reach her door again. She wants to remain shut off from any further mentions of love. The reader can see there is something else also eating away at her and until she can satisfy this no resolution can be found. She feels duty bound to visit the grave sites as instructed by her parents in law. Ruby was very much like a fish out of water and I felt she was brave going on her own not knowing what she would encounter.
A country torn apart by war with villages decimated and people struggling to live amongst ruins and the lack of food and facilities. How macabre it must have been for the Belgians to have foreigners as such still encroaching on their land and country even after the war had concluded. On the other hand these tours must have brought solace to families to see where their loved ones had fallen and been buried. It must have been an incredibly difficult journey for anyone who undertook it years ago. Hopefully with the tours people would come away with a greater appreciation of what war really means and a determination never to allow it to happen again.
If only they knew what the future would hold. The third woman couldn't have been more different from Ruby and Martha, Alice Palmer comes from a wealthy American background and is in Europe to search for her brother Sam. He was last declared missing and the family want affirmative answers. Was he captured by the Germans? Was he a deserter? Or was his ultimate fate -death? Alice too was brave like Ruby but I think I preferred Ruby's character. Alice seemed to be over the top and at times it felt romance played a more important factor than finding the answers did.
The women only had a week to uncover what they were looking for and Alice seemed to be more enamoured with her old flame Daniel Martens. Yet she was the force that pushed Ruby on, to abandon the organised tour and go to Hops to meet the locals and ask the questions that needed to be spoken out loud. The details of the village of Hops and the surrounding areas were incredible. The author clearly undertook a lot of research and I build up a vivid, realistic picture in my mind that really enhanced my enjoyment and understanding of the story.
It made me appreciate how much the people who were very near to the front-lines of the battle fields endured and how they suffered long after the final shot was fired.
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So much historical detail was brought to life through the three women's stories and I felt every emotion they were experiencing. I knew there could not have been a happy outcome for all, that would have gone against the authenticity and the character of the book. But still I was ever hopeful regarding certain characters.
In Love and War was an excellent book. It's wrong to say I enjoyed or loved it given the subject matter.
Maybe those are not the best words to use but that is how I felt about this story. The characters and setting leap off the page to meet you and transport you back years to a world very different in some ways to the one we inhabit now yet in others war is still very much a part of our lives today.
Liz Trenow has done an exceptional job of bringing to life characters you feel such empathy and compassion for. I would never have given any thought for what happened after the war as the world kept turning and other events stepped in to take its place, make the news and have people talking. It was fitting in the centenary year of the conclusion of World War One that this was published and Liz Trenow should be proud of the story she has written.
Love and War | The New Yorker
It's beautifully crafted and one which gives lots of food for thought and discussion. One not to be missed. Aug 27, Jennifer rated it it was amazing Shelves: netgalley , netgalley I don't even think my review would do it justice and be able to capture the book properly. This story was about love and forgiveness and brought together people who were unlikely to ever meet. Martha and Ruby were my favorite characters. Martha was so brave traveling to Belgium from Germany with her young son.
The war only recently ended and the Belgian people were still recovering and pretty much hated the Germans. By the end I didn't mind Alice so much. This is the story of Alice, Ruby and Martha who all meet while searching for someone they lost. They are an unlikely trio. The First World War has just ended.
Who said all's fair in love and war" and where?"
Ruby and Alice meet after signing up for "Tours of the battlefields of Flanders. Ruby's husband was killed during battle and wants to find his burial spot so she can ask him for forgiveness. Alice is trying to find her brother. He signed up with the Canadians under a false name and is unable to be located. Martha and her son Otto travel to Belgium to try to locate her oldest son's grave. She has no confirmation of his death but all her letters to him have been returned and he is missing, presumed dead. Ruby, Alice and Martha end up helping each other when they need it the most.
Eventually they are able to find out what they needed to about their loved one.