12 reviews

War Brides
by Helen Bryan

Published: 2012-06-12
Paperback : 496 pages
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28 members have read this book
Recommended to book clubs by 12 of 12 members
The National BestsellerWith 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...
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The National Bestseller

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 their lives forever.

Alice Osbourne, the stolid daughter of the late vicar, is reeling from the news that Richard Fairfax broke their engagement to marry Evangeline Fontaine, an American girl from the Deep South. Evangeline’s arrival causes a stir in the village—but not the chaos that would ensue if they knew her motives for being there. Scrappy Elsie Pigeon is among the poor of London who see the evacuations as a chance to escape a life of destitution. Another new arrival is Tanni Zayman, a young Jewish girl who fled the horrors of Europe and now waits with her newborn son, certain that the rest of her family is safe and bound to show up any day. And then there’s Frances Falconleigh, a madcap, fearless debutante whose father is determined to keep her in the countryside and out of the papers.

As the war and its relentless hardships intensify around them, the same struggles that threaten to rip apart their lives also bring the five closer together. They draw strength from one another to defeat formidable enemies—hunger, falling bombs, the looming threat of a Nazi invasion, and a traitor in their midst—and find remarkable strength within themselves to help their friends. Theirs is a war-forged loyalty that will outlast the fiercest battle and endure years and distance.

When four of the women return to Crowmarsh Priors for a VE Day celebration fifty years later, television cameras focus on the heartwarming story of these old women as war brides of a bygone age, but miss the more newsworthy angle. The women’s mission is not to commemorate or remember—they’ve returned to settle a score and avenge one of their own.

Revised edition: This edition of War Brides includes editorial revisions.

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Member Reviews

Overall rating:
  "entertaining history"by tinemb11 (see profile) 11/10/14

I enjoy Historical Fiction because I am able to learn a little while being entertained.

by cbbc1 (see profile) 11/08/14

  "Makes me look at my Grandma with new eyes"by MargeJ (see profile) 10/28/14

I just finished War Brides. I enjoyed it tremendously and found that I had a hard time putting it down to get on with my daily stuff! I found some of the historical information slightly off (Glenn Miller... (read more)

by JaniceT (see profile) 05/31/14

Overall I enjoyed the book, however the beginning was very slow and confusing. It was difficult to keep the girls straight, there was too much information that wasn't needed to set the stage. Also the... (read more)

  "War Brides"by klsands (see profile) 02/12/14

Well written book that describes the hardships the English lived through during WWII. Great follow-up book after reading The Guernsey Literary & Potato Peel Pie Society.

  "I loved this story!"by leezhere (see profile) 02/09/14

The author brings together the most unlikely group of women, each courageous and loyal and unique, but with virtually nothing in common. From this serendipity, lives are changed, history is written and... (read more)

  "Definitely a thumbs up!"by kstephe0009 (see profile) 02/06/14

Book Club all enjoyed the book - especially the development of the numerous characters.

  "War Brides"by zoeypage12 (see profile) 11/16/13

Had read it before, but when reviewing it for our meeting, I got caught up in it again and reread it completely. It is one I will read another time.

  "Slow Read but Ending was good"by out4air (see profile) 11/12/12

  "War Brides"by pafunk (see profile) 09/21/12

Thoroughly enjoyed the book. Author's detail to WWII in London was well done.

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