1946. World War II has ended and all over the world, young women are beginning to fulfill the promises made to the men they wed in wartime.
In Sydney, Australia, four women join 650 other war brides on an extraordinary voyage to England—aboard HMS Victoria, which still carries not just arms and aircraft but a thousand naval officers. Rules are strictly enforced, from the aircraft carrier’s captain down to the lowliest young deckhand. But the men and the brides will find their lives intertwined despite the Navy’s ironclad sanctions. And for Frances Mackenzie, the complicated young woman whose past comes back to haunt her far from home, the journey will change her life in ways she never could have predicted—forever.
Published May 27th 2014 by Penguin Books (first published 2005)
my copy provided by netgalley for an honest review
My second Jojo Moyes book this year, I loved The Girl You Left Behind and was careful not to let my expectations get too high for this one. I was not disappointed. This is a part of history that I actually never realized took place and found it not just entertaining but educational as well.
The story begins in current time period but quickly jumps back to 1946. World War II has ended and 650 war brides begin their journey from Sydney, Australia to be reunited with their husbands in England. Focusing on 4 women during this voyage it was hard not to connect with then. Each wife has a different story to tell and the author did a stellar job describing their different backgrounds and how they ended up on board the HMS Victoria (which is an aircraft carrier and full of naval officers). This is a six week journey which gives the reader more time to get to know them, to discover their fears and apprehension for the future. When I sat back and thought about it, 650 Australian born women leaving behind family and friends, traveling so far away to begin a new life in a different country. I think that I would be more than a little apprehensive.
This is a very involved story that the author brought to life. Jojo Moyes used actually diary entries and newspaper clippings to enhance the book and give it the authentic feel for that time period.
When I finished the book I thought that a sequel would be nice, as it would be interesting to see how life turned out in England for these War Brides.