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War Brides

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3.79  ·  Rating details ·  40,227 ratings  ·  3,412 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 ...more
Paperback, 467 pages
Published June 28th 2007 by Penguin Books
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Stephanie
This answer contains spoilers… (view spoiler)
Mary Anderson I disAgree. I found so much thAt fit in with other historical things I have read. Including of Evangeline being sent to the nuns in Dublin many other…moreI disAgree. I found so much thAt fit in with other historical things I have read. Including of Evangeline being sent to the nuns in Dublin many other instances brought to mind the real-life tie in.(less)

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Average rating 3.79  · 
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 ·  40,227 ratings  ·  3,412 reviews


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Candace
Set in England during WWII, 'War Brides' tells the story of several women, from different walks of life. As London is evacuated, in anticipation of a German invasion, women and children find themselves thrust together in the English countryside, doing their best to make ends meet. This is the story of five such women, who formed an unlikely friendship and found strength in one another despite the dire circumstances.

Evangeline was a young, beautiful American who married an Englishman to escape
...more
Nancy Loe
Jun 21, 2012 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: world-war-ii
In addition to previous reviewer 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
...more
Josee
Aug 07, 2012 rated it liked it
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, ...more
Erin
Jul 24, 2011 rated it did not like it
Find this and other reviews at: http://flashlightcommentary.blogspot....

*** NOTE: It has come to my attention that War Brides has been re-edited since the release of this review. I will not be returning to the piece, but encourage readers to understand the issues I noted may not apply to more recent editions of the novel.

Trifecta! Punctuation, spelling and formatting mistakes all in one publication! I’m sorry folks, but I can’t ignore it. Throughout the text I found double periods and
...more
Reid
Oct 23, 2012 rated it liked it
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
Jan 05, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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
Duane
Historical fiction novel set in England during World War II. The story of five women, with different backgrounds, finding a common bond by supporting war efforts on the home front. They develop a friendship that will last a lifetime and their individual stories and histories make for a very good read.
Julia
Aug 18, 2012 rated it did not like it
Shelves: popcorn
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Kiera Healy
Jan 22, 2013 rated it did not like it
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
...more
Catherine Crowther
Dec 30, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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 ...more
Gina Arnone
Jan 15, 2013 rated it it was ok
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
LaNae
Sep 27, 2011 rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Marcie
May 11, 2013 rated it liked it
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 ...more
Lynn Young
Mar 14, 2013 rated it did not like it
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
Regina Chapin
Jul 17, 2012 rated it did not like it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Lori Anderson
Oct 16, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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
...more
Cindy Huff
Sep 12, 2012 rated it really liked it
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 ...more
Rebecca Brothers
Oct 01, 2012 rated it really liked it
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 ...more
Reeves Honey
Oct 07, 2012 rated it really liked it
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
...more
Chris
Jul 08, 2013 rated it it was ok
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
Feb 24, 2014 rated it did not like it
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!
Katherine Coble
I cannot understand why this has a 4.5 star aggregate on Amazon! The writing in the beginning is a series of mean-spirited infodumps, all of them poorly constructed.

Several times I stopped in my tracks, puzzling over a sentence where the writer meant one thing but conveyed another. "They spent hours playing in the garden on sunny days and in the cellar where Richard's father kept the wine when it rained." Me: I've never heard of anyone moving their wine when it rains. That seems odd...oh. Wait.
...more
Barbara
Mar 24, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was not really planning to like this book. However, once each character was introduced and came together in Crowmarsh Priors during WW ll, I liked the way the story flowed. I actually thought the prologue was a nice seqway into the story of these five women from all different levels of society and numerous countries joining forces in a small English village during the war. Helen Bryan gave the reader a good insight into the lives of those left at home while the men were off fighting. Although ...more
Maria
Aug 30, 2012 rated it liked it
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.

...more
Becky
Jun 25, 2012 rated it liked it
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
Sara
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mark
Jul 22, 2012 rated it liked it
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
...more
Elaine
Jul 03, 2016 rated it liked it
I have been aware of this book for a long while but never got round to it until now when I spotted it as I was looking for my monthly Prime lending library read and now I really wish I had read it sooner even though it isn’t particularly well written, needing a good edit. It is, however, a cracking story.

It is the story of five women from very different walks of life spending the war in the Sussex village of Crowhurst Priors and at first, especially after looking at the cover, this seems very
...more
Nancy
Oct 21, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kindle
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
“Oliver was beginning to think too many church rules got in the way of Christianity.” 3 likes
“The English understand the nuance of insult better than any other race” 2 likes
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