April 20, 2016

The War Bride. Pamela Hart

The War Bride book cover
Published: Hachette NZ
Date: 22nd March 2016
Format: Trade Paperback
Pages: 354
Genre: Historical Fiction
Source:Thanks to Hachette NZ
Rating:
4.5 stars                  Add to Goodreads
January, 1920. Young Englishwoman Margaret Dalton is full of excitement as she arrives to begin a new life in the warm, golden land of Australia. She leaves behind the horrors of WWI and can't wait to see her husband, Frank, after two years' separation. But when Margaret's ship docks, Frank isn't there to greet her and Margaret is informed that he already has a wife . . .

Devastated, Margaret must swap her hopes and dreams for the reality of living and working in a strange new city. And just as a growing friendship with army sergeant Tom McBride gives her a steady person to rely on, news arrives that Frank may not have abandoned her. Where should Margaret's loyalties lie: with the old life or with the new?

My thoughts banner
The War Bride by Pamela Hart turned out to be a delightful and really absorbing read. I loved the time it was set in - just at the end of World War. I also loved the geographical setting - Sydney, Australia. Margaret finds herself in Sydney with no one to meet her. Fortunately Tom a local soldier, helps her out and eventually she finds herself at a boarding house with the delightful landlady - Burnsie and her daughter Jane.

It is quite a culture shock for Margaret, Australia is really a different country to England, already by that time the Australian culture was evolving rapidly. Women had the vote and went swimming with gusto. The language was English but of course there are many sayings that were new to her and words she hadn't ever heard before. 

The book explores what it is like for those who are returning from war and settling back into ordinary life again. After all that's what they fought for - so that ordinary life might go on. Many of them are still dealing with the inner and outer wounds of war. Tom was relatively unscathed physically but he still has nightmares.  Tom is a Catholic though and Margaret a Methodist. In those days, never the two should meet. I really enjoyed seeing  the characters and their thoughts and feelings about religion. The attitudes of people towards various events too was interesting. Society has changed, however I grew up in the 1950's and things were pretty similar to the book's era I have to say.

Tom and Margaret begin to form a relationship and it is really going somewhere when Margaret hears that her husband Frank didn't desert her, he is living with Gladys and his daughter Violet. This throws Margaret into a quandary.  What should she do? 

The characters are very real, I liked them all, the dilemma that faced Margaret was really difficult. I liked too that the story is based on what actually happened to some real life brides. It opened up a small window for me on that era.

australian author-book-icon page-turner icon well written book icon women's fiction book icon


21 comments:

  1. I've not read any of Pamela Hart's books yet though I have The Soldier's Wife in my TBR pile and now I'm adding to it The War Bride. I enjoyed your review. Interesting comment about society in 1920s Australia and 1950s New Zealand. I hope you've caught up :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ha hopefully we have Yvonne! But I still remember some of it!

      Delete
  2. Replies
    1. Yes, there were a few mix ups. In the end he did the right thing.

      Delete
  3. This definitely sounds good! I love the time period and setting, plus I can't imagine how difficult it would be for a woman in her circumstances.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes I liked the spotlight on her and how it might have been.

      Delete
  4. Great review Kathryn. This sounds like it might be an absorbing read. I'm going to add it to my growing to read pile.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes I so enjoyed it. I think the Aussie aspect was just great and I have been to Sydney so that helped a little.

      Delete
  5. Replies
    1. It was Debbie and always good to enjoy a good read!

      Delete
  6. Oh, my, what a dilemma! I love the sound of the settings, too. Thanks for sharing...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes the setting was a big part of it for me.

      Delete
  7. It's only through books like these do we get a glimpse into life before. Yay on a good read.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes we do, and so many of this time period.

      Delete
  8. Sounds really good, Kathryn. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

    ReplyDelete
  9. This sounds really interesting and I know very little about Australia in this time period so that's an extra plus. I like that the characters and their reactions felt so real and I love that it's based off of some of the real lives of some of the actual war brides.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, I didn't even know there were such things as Bride Ships to Australia and most likely other parts of the world.

      Delete
  10. I love it when I learn by reading! This one sounds very good.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It was Nise. Easy reading in a way, but so evocative of that time in Australia.

      Delete
  11. This really sounds good. I like the historical aspect and the difficult situation she faces. Thanks for sharing.

    ReplyDelete

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...