My Dear I Wanted to Tell You by Louisa Young (read by Dan Stevens) HarperCollins (audiobook) My Dear I Wanted to Tell You has just won audiobook of the year at the 2011 Galaxy Book Awards, so deserves a slightly belated place in this round-up. Set during the first world war, it ricochets among five characters: Riley, a working-class boy done good, and his fellow soldier, Peter. Representing the home front, and the love interest, are wealthy and bohemian Nadine (the object of Riley's affections) and Julia (Peter's wife) and Rose (his cousin). Young's saga moves quickly into familiar territory - the muddy trenches of Ypres. Riley climbs up military ranks but his progress is halted suddenly when an explosion leaves him horribly disfigured. The second half focuses on Riley's slow return from his near-death experience: there are nerve-jangling accounts of facial reconstruction. It is here that the female characters come to the fore. Rose nurses Riley as he tries to distance himself from Nadine. Peter, meanwhile, falls into the bottle to nurse his own wounds, while Julia tries to stop him. Dan Stevens lets the violence of Young's prose do its work without emoting. A well-deserved win.