War Brides by Helen Bryan.
Paperback: 496 pages
Publisher: AmazonEncore (June 12, 2012)
Book Description The National Bestseller
With war threatening to spread from Europe to England, the sleepy village of Crowmarsh Priors settles into a new sort of normal: Evacuees from London are billeted in local homes. Nightly air raids become grimly mundane. The tightening vice of rationing curtails every comfort. Men leave to fight and die. And five women forge an unlikely bond of friendship that will change their lives forever.
Alice Osbourne, the stolid daughter of the late vicar, is reeling from the news that Richard Fairfax broke their engagement to marry Evangeline Fontaine, an American girl from the Deep South. Evangeline’s arrival causes a stir in the village—but not the chaos that would ensue if they knew her motives for being there. Scrappy Elsie Pigeon is among the poor of London who see the evacuations as a chance to escape a life of destitution. Another new arrival is Tanni Zayman, a young Jewish girl who fled the horrors of Europe and now waits with her newborn son, certain that the rest of her family is safe and bound to show up any day. And then there’s Frances Falconleigh, a madcap, fearless debutante whose father is determined to keep her in the countryside and out of the papers.
As the war and its relentless hardships intensify around them, the same struggles that threaten to rip apart their lives also bring the five closer together. They draw strength from one another to defeat formidable enemies—hunger, falling bombs, the looming threat of a Nazi invasion, and a traitor in their midst—and find remarkable strength within themselves to help their friends. Theirs is a war-forged loyalty that will outlast the fiercest battle and endure years and distance.
When four of the women return to Crowmarsh Priors for a VE Day celebration fifty years later, television cameras focus on the heartwarming story of these old women as war brides of a bygone age, but miss the more newsworthy angle. The women’s mission is not to commemorate or remember—they’ve returned to settle a score and avenge one of their own.
I have to say that I think I purchased this book for my “normal reasons”..re: it takes place in England. And I can add that during this past year happenings around the time of WWII seem to hold my interest also.. this book had both.
What a fabulous book! I was pleased on more than one level. Excellent characters, and superb writing descriptions letting you know them well. The historical parts of Pre-war and during the war were spot on from what little I actually know of things. But no matter, I found it to be a real page turner, most times I didn’t want to put it down but my bad eyes forced me to do so.
In the Amazon review it mentions the getting together of these ladies 50 yrs later and that intrigued me. If there was any disappointment in this book it was only that I would have liked the ‘reunion” to have been longer. Somehow my thoughts are that the publishers (which was Amazon btw) felt that 496 pages were quite enough ..heh.. but I would not have complained if it had been a bit longer for the reunion.
Overall: this is probably a book more for woman, as it’s about woman, wartime love, and how they got thru the war. However, it certainly would give a man a view from those that weren’t actually doing the fighting.
The book is Fiction.. but the story reads like one that I think many people lived through, and often I did feel as if I was right there. This was one of the more enjoyable books I’ve read this year.