”You are going to roll down this hill with me, Elias Welby. And if we die, then…at least we died laughing.”
I can’t put to words what this book did to me. It stabbed my heart, mended it, and then stabbed it again, mercilessly. That’s the only way to describe it. The book blurb of Dearest Josephine doesn’t even begin to do justice to the story at all. But, really, does any book blurb do justice to rare unicorns like this? I don’t think so. *wipes tear*
How to even describe this book? Magical. The way Caroline weaves this story is incredible, incredible, incredible. The book is told with letters, texts, emails and even a ‘‘novel’’ within the book. It’s the most ingenious book I’ve ever read.
First things first, the characters.
For me, sometimes it’s a little hard to relate to historical fiction characters, it requires a lot of skill to make them relatable and believable. Some authors tend to go a little too far with etiquette and all the classy things of the time, that they forget to show us the human side of characters leaving us with nice but non relatable ones.
Well, this is not the case. Even though Caroline’s characters were everything they should be in terms of society and expectations, there was a raw and human side to them I can’t explain. They were not just there; they were alive. They craved for the same things we now crave; they were quirky and honest and true to themselves. They built forts and drank hot chocolate; they rolled down hills and ate snowflakes. They were young people fighting to be who they truly were while dancing to society’s expectations and rules. Guys in this book cried, laughed, were silly boys and some days mature adults. They had their highs and lows, and I loved that so much. The book depicts the war raging inside young people’s hearts and how they deal with it, for better or for worse.
I won’t even begin talking about Caroline’s writing style and voice because I won’t stop ranting and this review will get too long. Reading Dearest Josephine felt like snowflakes and sunshine, summer storms and cozy fires, roses and thorns-an eclipse of bittersweet goodness.
I’ll just say, Caroline, you have become one of my fav authors and Dearest Josephine is so far my favorite read of 2021 <3
My rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ 5/5
-The word bas*ard is used throughout the book
-There is casual drinking (not glorified)
-Quick mention of a character having committed adultery in the past (nothing descriptive)
-Kissing (non descriptive)
2021: Chocolate and Earl Grey tea can’t fix Josie De Clare’s horrible year. She mourned the death of her father and suffered a teen-life crisis, which delayed her university plans. But when her father’s will reveals a family-owned property in Northern England, Josie leaves London to find clarity at the secluded manor house. While exploring the estate, she discovers two-hundred-year-old love letters written by an elusive novelist, all addressed to someone named Josephine. And then she discovers a novel in which it seems like she’s the heroine…
1821: Novelist Elias Roch loves a woman he can never be with. Born the bastard son to a nobleman and cast out from society, Elias seeks refuge in his mind with the quirky heroine who draws him into a fantasy world of scandal, betrayal, and unconditional love. Convinced she’s his soulmate, Elias writes letters to her, all of which divulge the tragedy and trials of his personal life.
As fiction blurs into reality, Josie and Elias must decide: How does one live if love can’t wait? Separated by two hundred years, they fight against time to find each other in a story of her, him, and the novel written by the man who loves her.
About the Author
Caroline George is the multi-award-winning author of Dearest Josephine, The Summer We Forgot, and other YA fiction titles. Her first book released when she was fifteen years old, a feat which led to more publications and internships with HarperCollins and Hillsong in Sydney, Australia. She graduated from Belmont University with a degree in publishing and public relations, and now travels the country, speaking at conferences and writing full-time.
A Georgia native, Caroline aspires to one day host The Great British Baking Show and delights in being best known for writing the phrase, “Coffee first. Save the world later.” When she’s not glued to her laptop, she can be found hiking in the Appalachian Mountains, sipping a lavender latte, or chatting with young writers. Find her on Instagram @authorcarolinegeorge and Twitter @CarolineGeorge_