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!
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.
I am an avid "reader"- I prefer to listen to books rather than read them due to the added dimension added by the narrator.
Normally, I love JoJo Moyes' books and I have read several. This one just could not grab me. I kept reading the same passages over again, as my attention seemed to easily wander during listening. That is not typical of most of Ms. Moyes' books. In the end, I did not finish the book. Perhaps I shortchanged myself. I guess I will never know.
Say something about yourself!
The character development was very well done. The narrator did a fair job trying to distinguish each character.
Overall I had a really hard time getting into this book, it was boring and predictable. It was only once the brides were actually on the boat was my interest piqued, but I was not wowed by this book like I am of her many other works.
This is one I could have passed on.
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