Before Nick Carraway moved to West Egg and into Gatsby’s world, he was at the centre of a very different story – one taking place along the trenches and deep within the tunnels of World War I.
Floundering in the wake of the destruction he witnessed first-hand, Nick delays his return home, hoping to escape the questions he cannot answer about the horrors of war. Instead, he embarks on a transcontinental redemptive journey that takes him from a whirlwind Paris romance – doomed from the very beginning – to the dizzying frenzy of New Orleans, rife with its own flavour of debauchery and violence.
An epic portrait of a truly singular era and a sweeping, romantic story of self-discovery, this rich and imaginative novel breathes new life into a character that many know only from the periphery. Charged with enough alcohol, heartbreak, and profound yearning to transfix even the heartiest of golden age scribes, NICK reveals the man behind the narrator who has captivated readers for decades.
I didn’t really know what to expect from this novel when I agreed to be part of this blog tour. I was pleasantly surprised and ended up really enjoying it!
The first part of the book is set during the war and in Paris (to page 129). I actually was invested in this part of the story much more than I thought I would be. I’ve never really read much about the war but I found it quite interesting, especially the tunnels part. I was also gripped by the love story in these early days…
The rest of the book is set post war. I found it a little difficult to follow in some places but it quickly picked up again and I was very invested in Nick. He is haunted by his past experiences, with very vivid descriptions that made me really feel like I could have been there.
I enjoyed the third person narration more than I usually do and I liked the short chapters (as per usual!) – I would recommend this book and I’d say you don’t have to have read The Great Gatsby!