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The Heroes' Welcome Audiobook

The Heroes' Welcome

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Publisher's Summary

The Heroes' Welcome is the incandescent sequel to the best-selling R&J pick My Dear, I Wanted to Tell You. Its evocation of a time deeply wounded by the pain of WWI will capture and beguile listeners fresh to Louisa Young's wonderful writing and those previously enthralled by the stories of Nadine and Riley, Rose, Peter, and Julia.

It's 1919, and Britain is realising that it is no longer at war. Now, Nadine and Riley, Rose, and Peter and Julia must try to regain a sense of normality. But long shadows cast by the war dim the potential joys of peacetime, and matters of the heart prove arduous and bewildering.

Normality doesn't seem to exist the way it did, and there is no going back to anything. What must give for happiness to stand a chance? For those who fought, those who healed, and those left behind, 1919 is a year freighted with perilous beginnings, unavoidable realities, and gleams of indestructible hope.

©2014 Louisa Young (P)2014 HarperCollins Publishers Limited

What the Critics Say

Praise for My Dear I Wanted to Tell You:

"This novel is a triumph." (Elizabeth Jane Howard)
"Every once in a while comes a novel that generates its own success, simply by being loved." (The Times)
"Birdsong for the new millennium." (Tatler)
"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] 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)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.5 (81 )
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4.8 (71 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Claire 24/05/2017
    Claire 24/05/2017 Member Since 2017

    Eclectic taste in audiobooks, with a particular thirst to discover Classics I'd never get around to reading in physical book format!

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    "Welcome return of these characters"
    What made the experience of listening to The Heroes' Welcome the most enjoyable?

    Dan Stevens' superb narration: he picks up where he left off in 'My Dear...', not a missed step in transition, and it made the experience of being in the company of these rounded characters once again all the more pleasurable.


    What did you like best about this story?

    I love Louisa Young's writing, and the way she gets under the skin of all her characters, so you feel you know them as well as you can ever hope to know yourself... She's unafraid to expose their flaws, and their obliviousness to their own flaws, except when it suits them, and their unwillingness to fix themselves, or to try to be better, or to become exhausted by the attempt (how apt is that to your own experience?!) - all emotion and constraint is here.


    What about Dan Stevens’s performance did you like?

    His pace is deliberate, his intonation sincere, he takes care over the language and passion into the dialogue (his Riley is consistent and convincing): it's perfectly judged and I sometimes wish he narrated all audiobooks (but especially the third in this series, Devotion, because Eve Karpf isn't half so good and I'm listening to it now, finding myself missing Stevens' version of these characters I've come to know well)!


    Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    The struggles of these characters moves me, and at times to tears - Peter's difficulties here were particularly acute and sensitively portrayed - and I found Julia especially interesting in the first novel, so her experiences here were more than a little wince-inducing. I'm so glad there is this follow-up, as the characters are deeply memorable and the story explores the effects of war and personal trauma that don't see the light of day very often.


    Any additional comments?

    Inspires me to read Homer, and to learn more about Classical Greek literature, which try as I might (I have the Odyssey in paperback with helpful encyclopaedic footnotes...) I've never found the motivation to start before!

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Louisa Freshwater Bay, United Kingdom 16/01/2015
    Louisa Freshwater Bay, United Kingdom 16/01/2015 Member Since 2014

    Painter, jeweller, teacher. Passionate listener to audiobooks and reader of print books.

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    "Not as good as the first volume"
    Where does The Heroes' Welcome rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    This book feels like the middle book of a trilogy. It is not as good as the first volume and the story line is rather thin. You feel there is another book coming and if that is the case I would definitely continue with the story. The main theme is shell shock which is interesting, but lacks the emotional intensity of the first volume and is just not quite so interesting about WWI medical practices.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Heroes' Welcome?

    Probably the discussions of the effect of shell shock on the mind.


    Have you listened to any of Dan Stevens’s other performances? How does this one compare?

    I have listened to My Dear I Wanted to Tell You among others and really you cannot fault Dan Stevens as a reader. He is excellent.


    Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    The emotion was nothing like as intense as in the first volume, but there are some powerful passages.


    Any additional comments?

    One sort of wondered when the story was going to start - it's a bit unstructured.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sandra Enniscorthy, Ireland 12/07/2014
    Sandra Enniscorthy, Ireland 12/07/2014 Member Since 2013
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    "Deeply, deeply moving. Incredible insight."
    Would you consider the audio edition of The Heroes' Welcome to be better than the print version?

    I have not read the print version, I cannot imagine how it could best this excellent audio.


    What other book might you compare The Heroes' Welcome to, and why?

    The prequel was also wonderful and gave an atmospheric lead into this book.


    Have you listened to any of Dan Stevens’s other performances? How does this one compare?

    Dan Steven's is superb in both books ( had me in tears on a sunny summers day!!)


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    The culmination of Julia's plight


    Any additional comments?

    I will listen to both books again. Wonderful audio!!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Diane Eastbourne,, United Kingdom 18/06/2014
    Diane Eastbourne,, United Kingdom 18/06/2014 Member Since 2012
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    "A good sequel"

    A good sequel to 'My dear I wanted to tell you'. A very moving story, beautifully written, a must read if you've enjoyed the first book. Beautifully narrated by Dan stevens who always does a great job with every book he reads.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Patrick 13/06/2014
    Patrick 13/06/2014

    music fan

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    "Painfully Poignant"

    It took awhile to get into gear, a painful (necessary) review and then it built and rose a searing block of grief and misunderstanding and loss and more grief and resolution, lovely therapeutic listening.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Stephanie Paul 08/12/2016
    Stephanie Paul 08/12/2016 Member Since 2016
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    "A book that you don't really put down. "

    This is one that stays with you long after you have finished. Dan Stevens' flawless narration is haunting and timeless,

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    David 09/06/2016
    David 09/06/2016
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    "A spectacular follow up"
    What made the experience of listening to The Heroes' Welcome the most enjoyable?

    The story explores the impact on the war to all the previous characters. It is moving and heartbreaking, naturally everyone is battling with their own nightmares, injuries both physical and mental. Everything has changed while day to day life remains much the same, there are struggles to adapt to any sort of normality. Relationships evolve, change are born and nobody is left undamaged or changed.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Heroes' Welcome?

    A death, I do not want to say more for fear of giving away too much. Riley the most damaged of all the characters has to become the strong lynch pin that keeps them all together whilst coming to terms with his own terrible injury and the permanen tchange to his life.


    What about Dan Stevens’s performance did you like?

    Dan Stevens made this story for me, his narration is perfect, sensitive. The tone, voices and characterisation brings the story to life.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Helen 19/01/2016
    Helen 19/01/2016
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    "A must read if you've read her first book"
    Where does The Heroes' Welcome rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    Absolutely top of the list. Dan Stevens, who narrated the first book too, does a magnificent job of bringing this beautiful, sensitive second book to life.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    They are all notable in their own ways.


    What about Dan Stevens’s performance did you like?

    Perfect. Wonderful tone of voice and his characterisation was impeccable.


    Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    Most definitely. It made me cry and its a book that haunts you long after you've finished it.


    Any additional comments?

    Whole heartedly recommend both this and My Dear.......

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Cian 13/09/2015
    Cian 13/09/2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Heartbreakingly brillant"

    This is a sequel to Louisa Young’s "My dear, I wanted to tell you” which I read a few years ago. I must say that despite the hype I did not enjoy book 1 and got this to see if I would see things more clearly. I adored this book and having read it can relate to and appreciate book 1 more.
    Having read both I would suggest a new reader reads them in sequence. I doubt the reader would get full understanding of book 2 without having read book 1.
    While book 1 dealt with the characters as they went through the 'Great War’, book 2 deals with how they negotiate the peace afterwards. This novel moves from 1919 to ten years later.
    We see up close and personal how the ‘peace’ is a very fluid thing and while some outwardly achieve it others never do.
    While during the war the conflict was external the ‘peace’ moves it internally. The cost of the war goes on in the lives and hearts of those who survived it.
    Riley has huge facial injury and while he carries the horrors of war externally, within him he manages to live in and absorb the peace.
    His superior Peter is outwardly intact in body but internally bereft with huge emotional and psychological damage.
    The ‘peace’ after the intensity of the war is longed for by all the characters yet each one has been scarred.
    The story shows their attempts again heroic for some and fruitless for others to come to terms with it all and move forward.
    While this book explores the negative effects of war in its aftermath it also shows a changing world where women can achieve something more than going back to mundane lives with no prospects as we can see with Rose’s life path.
    The language is beautiful and captures the characters desire and overwhelming wish to love and be loved yet feel that they do not have a right to such love, having survived while others perished. I loved how the story went forward and the ending was very poignant.
    The narrative by Dan Stevens was wonderful and I would highly recommend it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    M. A. Robinson 01/03/2015
    M. A. Robinson 01/03/2015
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    "Highly recommended"

    A wonderful read. This book, and it's prequel, My dear I Wanted to Tell You, are a poignant tale of love, loss and survival during the First World War period. Brilliantly written and beautifully read by Dan Stevens.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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  • Robyn
    Modbury, Australia
    23/04/15
    Overall
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    Story
    "Disappointing"

    This book was a big disappointment, falling far short of 'My Dear ...'. It's not possible to write a critique without spoilers, so I will just say that I found some of the things done by some of the characters totally unbelievable. I would have liked more on how the saintly Nadine coped with a husband with a facial deformity, more on Riley's sister's reaction, more on how Riley developed relationships with the children who came into his life. And what of Nadine's Rome connections? Is there a third volume in the offing? These weaknesses overshadowed the aspects of the book which were well done, notably the way Young brings to light the trauma experienced by soldiers and their loved ones - trauma which did not stop after the men returned home. Dan Stevens is, again, simply superb.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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