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War Brides | [Helen Bryan]

War Brides

As war moves ever closer, the sleepy English village of Crowmarsh Priors settles into a new sort of normal: Evacuees from London are billeted in local homes. The nightly German air raids become grimly mundane. Rationing curtails every comfort. Men leave to fight and die. And five women forge a bond of friendship that will change their lives forever in this engrossing novel of loyalty, loss, and love in the shadow of World War II.With the hardships of war intensifying every day, the women band together to defeat formidable enemies and find remarkable strength within themselves to help one another. It is a war-forged loyalty certain to endure years and distance. When four of the women return for a celebration fifty years later, their mission is not simply to commemorate or remember. They’ve returned to confront a traitor whose actions cost countless lives — and to avenge one of their own at last.
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Publisher's Summary

As war moves ever closer, the sleepy English village of Crowmarsh Priors settles into a new sort of normal: Evacuees from London are billeted in local homes. The nightly German air raids become grimly mundane. Rationing curtails every comfort. Men leave to fight and die. And five women forge a bond of friendship that will change their lives forever in this engrossing novel of loyalty, loss, and love in the shadow of World War II.

With the hardships of war intensifying every day, the women band together to defeat formidable enemies and find remarkable strength within themselves to help one another. It is a war-forged loyalty certain to endure years and distance. When four of the women return for a celebration 50 years later, their mission is not simply to commemorate or remember. They’ve returned to confront a traitor whose actions cost countless lives — and to avenge one of their own at last.

©2011 Heley Bryan (P)2012 Brilliance Audio, Inc.

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.9 (411 )
5 star
 (167)
4 star
 (121)
3 star
 (75)
2 star
 (24)
1 star
 (24)
Overall
3.9 (354 )
5 star
 (145)
4 star
 (95)
3 star
 (72)
2 star
 (24)
1 star
 (18)
Story
4.1 (348 )
5 star
 (165)
4 star
 (106)
3 star
 (45)
2 star
 (16)
1 star
 (16)
Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    Sara 08-28-14
    Sara 08-28-14

    USA, listener since 2005

    HELPFUL VOTES
    3792
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    231
    196
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    141
    2
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Ruined by Narration"

    This book was something that I was eager to listen to. The story may be a good one but I'll never know with the recorded version because it was so awful. I kept listening hoping it would improve but it only got worse. The accents were just appallingly terrible. Avoid!

    22 of 23 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Judy Bowna via Albury, Australia 05-31-13
    Judy Bowna via Albury, Australia 05-31-13 Member Since 2011

    Photographer's Moll, Chicken breeder, school administrator and owned by four dogs. Busy life, Happy life!

    HELPFUL VOTES
    19
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    9
    9
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    1
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    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Rubbish"
    What disappointed you about War Brides?

    The story was jumbled - I gave up half way through and the narration was awful. The American accents were reasonable (I think she must be American) but the others - English upper class, German jewish and Cockney were absurd.


    Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Tavia Gilbert?

    Even Shrek could have done a better job. The cockney was the worst rendition of an easily researched dialect that I've ever heard and the others were impossible to believe.


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    Anger - that I had paid for this
    Sadness - that the narration was so lazy
    Disappointment - Nothing like I expected


    13 of 15 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Susan BOONE, NC, United States 01-07-14
    Susan BOONE, NC, United States 01-07-14 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
    7
    ratings
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    11
    3
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    Story
    "horrible narration, and editing /book content OK"
    What would have made War Brides better?

    Proofing, the print, a different narrator, or a narrator with some acting skills


    What could Helen Bryan have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

    Proof her editors and find a better narrator


    Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Tavia Gilbert?

    Not sure


    What character would you cut from War Brides?

    No one


    Any additional comments?

    Audio books cost too much to be this disappointing.

    7 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Melissa Q LA, CA USA 02-19-14
    Melissa Q LA, CA USA 02-19-14

    MlisaQ

    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    6
    1
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    FOLLOWING
    0
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Were Any of the Accents Accurate?"
    Would you try another book from Helen Bryan and/or Tavia Gilbert?

    I'm not sure about Helen Bryan but I know I will never buy anything that Tavia Gilbert narrates.


    What didn’t you like about Tavia Gilbert’s performance?

    Terrible accents. I couldn't get through the book because of them. I spent so much time trying to figure out what she was trying to accomplish with the Creole accent that I couldn't follow the story. I gave up at that point.


    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer Glen Burnie, MD United States 11-12-12
    Amazon Customer Glen Burnie, MD United States 11-12-12 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
    8
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    25
    2
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    0
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    Performance
    Story
    "Keep listening--it gets better towards the end"
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    The first third of the book needs work to engage the listener and make them care about the characters.


    What could Helen Bryan have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

    Make the characters more likable and/or more believable.


    Did Tavia Gilbert do a good job differentiating all the characters? How?

    Yes. I believe she did a good job with the task she was given


    You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    Yes the last 25% and end of the book were good. It just took too long to get "hooked" into the story.


    8 of 10 people found this review helpful
  •  
    P. Burdge 09-22-12
    P. Burdge 09-22-12

    wordrioter

    HELPFUL VOTES
    42
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    62
    17
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    2
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    Story
    "A Story of the Women and Children on the Homefront"

    The setting in pre-war and WW II England. A group of women who may never have known each other otherwise end up in the English countryside to escape the Blitz. Good historical fiction.

    8 of 11 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer 11-03-14
    HELPFUL VOTES
    9
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    2
    2
    FOLLOWERS
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    0
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    Story
    "AN EYEOPENER"
    Would you consider the audio edition of War Brides to be better than the print version?

    YES - I ENJOYED THE DIFFERENT ACCENTS AND EMOTION THE NARRATOR BROUGHT TO THE READING


    What about Tavia Gilbert’s performance did you like?

    HER ABILITY TO BRING THE DIFFERENT CHARACTERS TO LIFE


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    YES


    Any additional comments?

    HI LIGHTS THE SAYING ' WAR IS HELL ON THE HOMEFRONT TOO"

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kaye 10-16-14
    Kaye 10-16-14 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    9
    5
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    Story
    "War Brides, War Times"
    What made the experience of listening to War Brides the most enjoyable?

    The excellent reading by Tavia Gilbert. She did a fantastic job of all the different accents.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of War Brides?

    Tavia's cockney accents.


    What about Tavia Gilbert’s performance did you like?

    Everything.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    No, not really.


    Any additional comments?

    I was disappointed by the ending - there was not enough explanation of Frances's disappearance. I also thought that the literary device of bookending the novel with the present day was very clunky. It was good to listen to but it is not great literature.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Leah Pinjarra, Australia 02-03-14
    Leah Pinjarra, Australia 02-03-14

    Living and learning one story at a time :)

    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
    ratings
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    37
    4
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    0
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    Story
    "Bit slow to start and quick to end"
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    Probably not. It was quite a slow start but started to get a bit better midway through. I felt it was lacking a bit, didn't flow as well as I would have liked.


    What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

    I liked that it was a 'look back' story. The characters didn't unfold well. Felt I was missing something.


    Have you listened to any of Tavia Gilbert’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    No I haven't heard her work before. I thought it was a pretty good performance.


    Did War Brides inspire you to do anything?

    Not really. I've listened to much more exciting works about the same era.


    Any additional comments?

    Has good potential but I think each storyline should be fleshed out more. I felt the story cut off and went back to present day before I got enough from the past.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Carol 09-24-13
    Carol 09-24-13
    HELPFUL VOTES
    5
    ratings
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    65
    9
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    Story
    "Mystery in history"
    Would you listen to War Brides again? Why?

    Yes, because it has enough information that I could listen again to get more details on the story.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of War Brides?

    The ending when the four brides are reunited and the mystery of where the what happened to the fifth one is revealed.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    The scene when the women were trying to rescue twin sisters of one of the brides.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    No extreme reaction. Just learned more of what it was like during WW11.


    Any additional comments?

    I was attracted to this book because my mother was a Navy Nurse in WW11. I wanted more history of what it was like. The book gave me that and also a mystery to boot.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Sort by:
  • WM
    Reading, United Kingdom
    11/19/12
    Overall
    "Really enjoyable story"

    I thoroughly enjoyed this story and glad I stuck with it. However, I hate to say anything derogatory about narrators because I think they do a fantastic job, but this one - oh dear, she is obbviously American and her own accent was fine. Her english accents were dreadful, so much so, that if the story had not been enjoyable I would have given up. It was a shame really if she had just read it in her own accent all the way through it would probably have been better.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Merelina
    Halinghen, France
    5/16/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A story that turns into a spy story."

    Excellent book, had to re listen several times and kept thinking that bit wasn't there last time I listened!!! Not so sure about the reader, she pronounces some words most oddly. A plait of hair is not pronounced like plate but like flat. Very unusual spy story I had never thought of water as a guide to aircraft but now it is so obvious. I really recommend this book.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • helle
    VANCOUVER CANADA, BC, Canada
    3/4/13
    Overall
    "excellent read"

    I loved this book.

    It was really hard to put down.

    I would think anyone who enjoys stories in wartime would love this.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • sheilaanne
    11/13/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Excellent listen!"
    Would you listen to War Brides again? Why?

    Definitely. I am sure it will have bits I missed as the story is fairly complex and moves along.


    What did you like best about this story?

    That it is told from the women's perspective.


    Have you listened to any of Tavia Gilbert’s other performances? How does this one compare?

    No. I thought it was excellent.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    When Alice realised she had been dumped in favour of Evangeline.


    Any additional comments?

    Brilliant listen and engrossing book. Loved it!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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