From the New York Times best-selling author of Me Before You and One Plus One, a post-WWII story of the war brides who crossed the seas by the thousands to face their unknown futures.
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.
©2014 Jojo Moyes (P)2014 Penguin Audio
Being a born Aussie I approached this book with equal parts curiosity and apprehension. Curiosity because this topic of Australian war brides was unfamiliar to me except in the vaguest sense and apprehension because non- Australian writers rarely write Australian characters well without falling into the trap of stereotyping.
The story was interesting and unique. The plot meandered its way through the voyage rather than dragged as it gradually introduced and unpacked each character and his or her story. The main characters were well written but did appear to me to be cardboard cut outs of stereotypical 1940's Australian women. Also, Jeans character in particular seemed to spew out clichéd Australian colloquisms so often that I suspect the author gleaned most of that characters dialogue from "an idiots guide to Aussie slang" or something similar.
The narration was really exceptional. The accents were very very well done and inflection and intonation were perfect.
All in all it was a good book. I think it lost points for me because of the stereotypes but I suspect that aspect won't bother other listeners nearly as much as it did me.
Definitely! Nicolette McKenzie is a wonderful narrator, with accents and feeling for both men and women. I checked this book out of my library a year ago, and it has stayed with me ever since. As soon as I saw it on Audible, I jumped on it.
The ending - no spoilers! I also enjoyed the descriptions of Margaret's boistrous family life.
Oh, that voice! She can read anything!
The ending was immensely emotionally moving, both the happy and the sad bits.
As stated above, this book was wonderful! I read this a year ago and never forgot it. Jojo Moyes is a very talented author, and using a ship as a plot device was wonderful. With the advances in air travel, it's hard to imagine a weeks-long journey across the sea, in essence trapped on a boat with hundreds of other people, when these days you hear stories about being stuck on trans-Atlantic flights sitting behind a screaming baby. The period details about the war, the journey, the culture... beautiful!
AMAZING!!!! What an awesome book.
At first I was worried as it was a slow and tedious beginning, then it slowly builds up and all you want to know is how they will survive on that ship.
I was sobbing at the end, I never thought it would ever end like that. Perfection.
You come to know the women, love some of them, hate others, pray all their journey’s are not for waste, hope each one finds happiness, and get sickened that society and it’s views of men and women have NOT CHANGED AT ALL!
I have enjoyed many of Jojo Moyes books and this was no exception. The story is weaved together wonderfully, giving us insight into the lives of a number of different people on this journey. And the narration was great...i would recommend!
I couldn't stop listening to this book, it is the third of hers I have read and now my favourite .
The narration is some of the best I have heard and I have heard a lot.
Let yourself be lost in a piece of real history turned into a fantastic work of fiction.
YES! I don't think there were any uninteresting characters. All had depth and kept you wanting more. And, Nicolette McKenzie handled them all wonderfully.
Probably when I was crying my eyes out but I don't want to give away anything by saying when that was.
When the captain and Francis had their in-depth conversation was revealing but the fire scene was excellent, too.
6 weeks can make a lifetime.
I would have liked to have found out about the fate of Jean and maybe also Margaret's mom.
Jojo Moyes is a wonderful author. I've read many of her books and have never been disappointed in any of them.
This is the first one that was just so so and I found myself Fast forwarding through some of it.
I liked the characters. Leading up to the the women going on the ship was a good background description of them and what predicament they were in.
The time of the ship was way too long and bit boring at times. I found my mind wondering away so much of the time.
The last 4 or so hours of the book was very good. It finally got somewhere as the brides and the reality of their future was fun to listen too.
Also the crew and their personalities all came together well.
I was very excited to hear the ending of the main characters as the ship finally made it to England.
I just wish the back and forth didn't get so confusing at the end. It was such a let down with Francis and her Marine. The story was okay, but the way it was written spoiled the happiness.
Yes! The audiobook really brings the story to life. The story is unpredictable and flows beautifully. A great adventure.
If you enjoyed The Girl You Left Behind, you'll like this one too.
She was able to do unique voices for all the characters (even the men) that were all present and distinctly different from one another.
The climax of Jene's character (no spoilers!) was really emotional for me.
My only gripe about this story would be the epilogue - I wish the author had let you know the fate of every character, not just a few.
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