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Tuesday, 13 March 2012

Guest Review: The Things We Did For Love by Natasha Farrant

Publisher: Faber and Faber
Publication Date: 1 Mar 2012

Synopsis from Goodreads

France: February, 1944. 

As war rages in Europe, teenagers Luc and Arianne fall passionately in love. But German forces are closing in and Luc, desperate to atone for his family's past, is drawn into the dangerous world of the Resistance. Arianne will do almost anything to keep him safe, but someone else is secretly in love with her - someone who will stop at nothing to get rid of his rival...


Oh this novel is so sad, in the vein of novels like The Book Thief by Martin Zusak, this novel is really really tear-jerkingly sad, all the more so because it’s based on true events. Although the characters themselves aren’t real, it’s not hard to believe that some of the individuals who went through the experiences in France in the later years of World War Two felt the same things and experienced the same emotions.

Luc and Ari fall desperately and passionately in love, at the worst possible time. The Nazis are on their way and the French Resistance are resolute but no match for the German forces. Luc gets drawn into the dangerous world of the Resistance with disastrous consequences whilst Ari pines for him. As well as Luc and Ari other key characters include Ari’s fun-loving and amiable cousin Solange and Romy who is not all he seems to be and becomes thoroughly dislikeable.

There is no deep characterisation of any of the characters in my opinion. They all seem symbolic and representative of an element of society affected by the trials of world war and how harrowing it can become. The italicised sections of the novel are the most emotional, especially towards the end when we learn who is ‘speaking’ these words.

This novel is a great accomplishment portraying an interesting and poignant period of history in an accessible and interesting way which meant I finished it in about two sittings. The love story between Luc and Ari adds a touch of realism and romance to a dark period of history.

Brilliant novel which delicately and cleverly discusses an essential area of European history.


  1. Glad to hear you enjoyed it. The lack of depth within the characterisations spoilt it for me, but I can understand the symbolic nature of them.

    1. Totally see where you're coming from, I think the end made it for me though - when you find out who's narrating and where from.


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