The Ship of Brides

20893485My favorite Jojo Moyes book, The Ship of Brides follows four Australian war brides joining more than 600 others on a British air craft carrier to meet their husbands in England.

Told as a flash back, it opens in modern day with a woman traveling in India with her granddaughter. You are quickly brought into the stories of several young women preparing to leave Australia by Royal Navy ship. 

The war may be over, but protocol still needs to be followed, and orders executed. With more than 600 newly married women on board, there are more rules than normal, and a lot more people on board. The trip is unusual for everyone involved, and is leading to unknown future for all on board.

Much like college, the Royal Navy threw women together in rooms of four at random. The four women at the center of the story could not be more different. And could not have needed each other more. Not only did the ending get me, but through the whole story, I thought I’d figured out someone’s secret and then another turn came.

This book is based on fact – and includes at the start of every chapter excerpts from on board newspapers, diaries, journals, media coverage and interviews of both war brides and military from various ships, including the Victorious, the ship featured in the book.

Did I mention it’s told as a flash back? Its pretty ridiculous and pointless. But it was actually my saving grace when the end came and I was upset, sad, and felt a little abandoned.

This is a story – this is a novel. Moyes redeemed herself with me after the After You debacle. I still miss a some of the characters from this book – like I’ve abruptly had to leave friends behind without saying goodbye.

 

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