War Brides
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War Brides

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3.57 of 5 stars 3.57  ·  rating details  ·  13,663 ratings  ·  2,012 reviews
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 t...more
Paperback, 467 pages
Published 2007 by Penguin Books
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Josee
The story started off with a lot of promise but fell flat at some points and the ending was really rushed. The author set you up to care about these 5 girls (although it is clear one of them is missing 50 years later) but each of their stories comes off fragmented and too piecey with too many holes. And the "present day" story got to be annoying and it was overshadowed by the news program and the anchor! Who cared about all that! We wanted to know the story of the women: Alice, Evangeline, Elsie...more
Nancy L.
In addition to Erin's trifecta of punctuation errors, spelling blunders, and formatting mistakes, I'll add two more:

1) tiresome overuse of dialect – Creole! Georgia! Cockney! Louisiana! - and yet the upper crust Brits, the Jews, and the Austrians had none, and

2) obvious and distracting historical blunders. Frex, the American air crews in Britain were part of the U.S. Army Air Corps and they weren't split off into a separate branch of the service and called the U.S. Air Force until 1947. Glenn M...more
Erin
Follow all my reviews at: http://flashlightcommentary.blogspot....

Trifecta! Punctuation errors, spelling blunders and formatting mistakes! I’m sorry but I can’t ignore it. Throughout the text I found double periods and commas. Slipups in spelling are abundant. Some chapter headings were placed immediately after the last sentence of the preceding chapter and others began a full two pages later. These seemingly simple gaffes drive me crazy as a reader.

Think you can ignore those issues? Let’s look...more
Sarah
I was torn as to whether I should give this 3 or 4 stars. I enjoyed the actual story, but the beginning and end just didn't fit.
The book opens with the main characters all travelling back to England for a VE Day ceremony. But it was just weird. I didn't know who they were, or why they were in these other cities. Similarly, the end is the actual reunification of the women. It was weird and unemotional. I wanted tears, fighting.....something that showed these women went through a war together....more
Reid
I find it extremely difficult to write a review of this type of book; there may be nothing more difficult. It is compelling. It covers a fascinating subset of a familiar theme: the blitz and other experiences of war in Great Britain. It focuses on the much-neglected lives of women in those times and what they experienced. And yet....

And yet, it really isn't a very well-written book. Not that Ms. Bryan can't put together one sentence to follow another. Not that she can't build a (mostly) credible...more
Laura
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
LaNae
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Gina
Feb 11, 2013 Gina rated it 2 of 5 stars
Shelves: 2013
I was really enjoying this book, it felt as though I was spending time with friends.

Why did I rate the book so low then? There were a couple of reasons. First, it felt like there were far to many characters. It felt like there could have been better character development if only there were fewer characters to begin with.
My biggest problem was that the ending felt far to rushed. It was almost as if the author got tired of writing. For the amount of time devoted to the back story, the ending fell...more
Julia
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Regina Chapin
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Lynn Young
Warning! If you don't wish to read an insulting review, stop now!
This author is horrible! Author should've clearly done more research. It's obvious that she just plucked ideas and wrote them down. She doesn't know her ass from a hole in the ground! Everything is wrong!
We go from the dumped Alice who never got an explanation from Richard to Evangeline, the supposedly privileged plantation daughter. There was poor and butchered accents and stupid spies. Oh and there was old smuggling caves! Tanni...more
Kiera Healy
This book had the makings of an interesting, character-driven look at life for the women of World War Two. Unfortunately, it was horrible. Early on it had a lot of promise, but by the end I was skimming pages, desperate to finish this thing.

The premise is that five women from different backgrounds find themselves drawn together in a small Sussex village during WW2. See, given their diverse backgrounds, there could have been some interesting conflict here, but the author seems to only like confli...more
Libi
*SPOILERS*

After hearing both good and bad reviews, I went ahead and got this book on a fling (borrowed from ebook fling. I thought this story was very engaging and I liked it, in the beginning. There were places where it drug terribly and the ending was rushed. Like other reviewers, I noticed typos and nonsensical sentences throughout the book. However, I felt that some of the spellings could have been GBE instead of AmE but most of them weren't. (ex: using a 's' in the place of a 'z'.) And the...more
Marcie
My problem with this book is that I liked the overall story, but was driven completely nuts by the writing style, character development, and timeline. Regarding writing style, the author tries to recreate a Cockney accent in text, which was completely distracting since I often had to read a sentence three or four times before I could figure out what the character was trying to say. While the story was predominantly written from the point of view of the main five characters, the author would thro...more
Catherine Crowther
I honestly thought this was one of the best books I have read ever. Yes I thought that it ended too quickly, but I loved it all the same. (Plus I think I am an idealist and a definate sucker for a happy ending) I liked the way that the beginning set the scene really well and got you intrigued. I felt desperately sorry for Evangeline when she was in New Orleans, but always knew Laurent couldn't be trusted either. I felt so bad for Tanni but would have been happier if her sisters had eventually fo...more
Lori Anderson
Oct 18, 2012 Lori Anderson rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: WWII book fans
I had to think for a bit about the rating on this one. On the one hand, I had a hard time putting it down. On the other hand, the ending had parts that were completely unrealistic, and one of the themes in the story was a bit hard to digest. HOWEVER -- the characters stayed with me past closing the book, and I was genuinely surprised and delighted with a couple of the endings, even if some would say they were too neatly tied up. I don't care -- I liked it.

The story is about a group of women duri...more
Cindy Huff
War Brides took me to England during WWII. As an American whose parents were children during WWII I knew of the hardship here and was curious to get another perspective. This book has been well researched. There are five war brides (almost too many characters to keep straight). Evangeline, an American who married an English officer before America joined the war. Frances, a debutant sent to the country to stay out of trouble.Tanni, an Austrian Jew whose arrange marriage happens moments before fle...more
R. Honey
Everybody in my reading circle knows I am drawn to books about the second world war. I REALLY like books that deal with the homefront

in Great Britain. These include The Shell Seekers by Rosamund Pilcher and Forbidden Places by Penny Vincennzi.

So when I saw the delightlful cover of War Brides I just had to read it immediately!

There was a bit of fanciful nonsense in the beginning of this book that made me wonder if it was going to turn out to be some kind of

Danielle Steele,True Blood,Twilight non...more
Rebecca Brothers
Did you know people in the 1940's had illegitimate babies?! Oh MY! (please hear the sarcasm in that. Please). But you know, growing up with respectable (nudge, nudge) grandparents, I didn't realize this happened. Thought teen pregnancy was a new thing, invented by people who wrote scripts for 1980's after school specials with titles like "Did You Hear What Happened to Marti?". But no. And in this wonderful story of sisterhood, friendship, and air raids, you get to hear lots of juicy details abou...more
Chris
This book was free through the kindle lending library. If it had not been, I would have been quite upset.

It seems as if most people have issues with the non-linear nature of the story. That isn't what ruined it for me. For me, the issue with this book comes after the main conflict has been resolved. The modern-day storyline is poorly constructed and seems to exist as an after thought.

Another slight issue with this novel is the lack of relationship development. These women start off as complete...more
Vanessa Holloway
I read about 70 pages and couldn't take it anymore. I wasn't going to waste my time anymore. It's about 470 pages long. Terrible writing, historical events not accurate and too much jumping around and not explaining details before moving on with story. I do not recommend!
Maria
It wasn't until I was almost 3/4 of the way through that I couldn't put the book down. It was just that after reading so much of the book, I was eager for something...ANYTHING to happen.

For 75% of the book, I was casually reading, finding out about these five, dramatically different women. But like all good stories, they united for a common cause. The thing is about War Brides, is that the common causes were never fully explored, and, quite frankly - lazily explained in the clipped ending.

SPOIL...more
Mark
Not normally a book I'd think to read, War Brides turned up atop my Kindle recommended list and, as I'd yet to borrow a book for July, I figured, what the heck?

And a very nice story it is, too. War Brides tells the story of five young women sent off to the tiny town of Crowmarsh Priors in southeastern England during the Blitz of WWII. Mostly, there's drama around making ends meet, the fate of children, boyfriends, and husbands and family abroad. The spice comes from the fact that there's a spy s...more
Audrey Dailey
I REALLY liked this book! It was the story of five women, all from very different backgrounds, who end up living in the same small English village during WWII. I liked that in spite of their differences, the war brought them together and they became close friends. I liked the "untold" stories aspect of the book, as well.

Sometimes I was a bit confused as to which character was narrating certain parts of the story. It would switch from chapter to chapter, which is fine, but even with those chapter...more
Allie
I thoroughly enjoy historical fiction, especially if that history involves WWII. Generally I stick to stories that revolve around the camps or Germany for no other reason than those are the ones that draw my attention the most. However, I always love reading about England. (Even though I've never been, I am sure I was meant to live there.) This story was a fantastic compilation of everything I enjoy in a book. WWII, England, romance, and mystery. I literally dreamt myself into this story at nigh...more
Michele Grant
I thoroughly enjoyed this book and was wanting more even after the storyline came to a conclusion. Evangeline, Alice, Elsie, Francis and Tanni all came to live in the English countryside, quite by chance, before War broke out in Europe. Their lives became entwined in such a way that they became forever friends. They were an unlikely bunch to have formed such lasting friendships. Alice, the local minister's daughter who had never stepped outside Crowmarch Priors, Frances, the admiral's daughter w...more
Regina Meehan-simunek
War Brides – Helen Bryan
War Brides is not a curl up by the fireplace type book but rather a quick read and the first novel written by Helen Bryan. The title may be a little deceptive if you are expecting a book about how young women married and survived during World War II.
This is an uplifting story about friendships that developed with these women. They come from different backgrounds who under normal circumstances would have hardly given the time of day to each other
It opens with these women...more
Becky
Pros of this book: interesting reading about World War II, Hitler, Germans, and a glimpse into what it was like for the people who weren't fighting the war, just trying to live through it. Some of the women's romances were lovely, and the descriptions of the outfits, food, houses were wonderful as well.

Cons: it takes a WHILE to get to the actual meat of the story. I get that the author has to explain the back story behind how all these women meet and become friends, but I was struggling to stay...more
Melinda
This book KEPT popping up in my Kindle recommendations. I finally broke down and checked it out of the Kindle Lending Library this past month. My hubby is in the military and I have learned a lot about WWII by default so I thought it would be nice to read a different side to the war. I learned a lot. The book is extremely well researched. I had not really gotten to know about the complete break up of families in England during WWII prior to reading this book. I had no idea how "bad" WWII was for...more
Nancy
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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Helen Bryan is an American-born writer living in London for many years She qualified and practised as a barrister in England before giving up law to concentrate on a biography of fellow Virginian Martha Washington (MARTHA WASHINGTON FIRST LADY OF LIBERTY published by John Wiley in the USA in 2002 which won an Award of Merit from the Colonial Dames of America. WAR BRIDES (published by Penguin Books...more
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