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12.23.2014

Book Report - War Brides

For my last book of 2014, I read Helen Bryan's War Brides. I signed up for a 30-day trial of KindleUnlimited on amazon.com, and this was one of the books available for free through that service.
War Brides tells the story of five young women each struggling to find their place as war creeps closer to their small village nestled in the English countryside. Alice, the daughter of the late vicar; Evangeline, the American girl who stole Alice's fiance from her; Elsie, a poor, London evacuee; Tanni, a young Jewish girl who fled to England with her newborn son; and Frances, the confident debutante whose father is a high ranking military official. Together, they attempt to navigate the new normal thrust upon them by war: rationing, air raids, close quarters, and husbands fighting far away.

I thought this book was a missed opportunity. It's such a great story to tell, but it was not written well. The characters were all interesting, but when the war ended it felt like all their stories were suddenly rushed to completion. Then there was the second ending, when the women came back to their village for the 50th anniversary of VE Day, that just seemed really ridiculous. I would have gladly dropped that ending for more satisfying closure on how their war stories ended instead. It wasn't terrible, it just could have been better.

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