Thursday, January 8, 2015

Book #7: The Ship of Brides


Wednesday is library day at our house, and has quickly become "Mommy's reading day." I am incapable of stretching a book out over any length of time, but instead find myself allowing hours of TV time for the girls simply so I can read "one more" chapter. I did it again, yesterday, with The Ship of Brides by JoJo Moyes. I know I've already read one book by her (Me Before You) in my 30 Before 30, and I really should be branching out more, but I happened upon this one at the library and the premise intrigued me. Once again, it was about World War II - my third book in a row set in this time period. Ha. But this had very little to do with the war, and was actually about life after it finished. Here's the Amazon synopsis:

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.
This is a fictional account of a real historical event, wherein brides were shipped from Australia to England on a warship. I was shocked that there were that many women who married servicemen after knowing them for a few weeks and then left their families and homes and countries to go to a new land, knowing so little about their husbands. Some of their husbands died before they made it to them, some of their husbands already had wives and children at home, and some of the men changed their minds while the women were en route, sending telegrams saying, "Not wanted. Don't send."

It was a fascinating book, with well-thought out characters and interesting twists. I wouldn't say it was the best book ever, but it was definitely a fun read. I struggle a little bit with Moyes' writing style. I don't know if it's because she's Australian or if it's strictly her style, but often times her wording is confusing and I have to read a paragraph a few times to figure out what she's saying. (Or maybe I'm just dense.) But her characters and storylines are intriguing and dynamic. She kept me up 'til 1:00 am to finish the book and left me with questions, which I suppose a good author is supposed to. (Although I'd prefer that everything wraps up neatly.)

And now I'm going to have to let my girls watch hours of TV again so I can take a nap . . .

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