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GI Brides: The wartime girls who crossed the Atlantic for love [Kindle Edition]

Duncan Barrett , Nuala Calvi
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (88 customer reviews)

Print List Price: £7.99
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Book Description

The Sunday Times bestseller

From the bestselling authors of The Sugar Girls, G.I. Brides weaves together the real-life stories of four women who crossed the ocean for love.

The ‘friendly invasion’ of Britain by over a million American G.I.s caused a sensation amongst a generation of young women deprived of male company during the Second World War. With their exotic accents, smart uniforms and aura of Hollywood glamour, the G.I.s soon had the local girls queuing up for a date, and the British boys off fighting abroad turning green with envy.

But American soldiers offered something even more tantalising than a ready supply of chocolate, chewing gum and nylon stockings. Becoming a G.I. bride provided an escape route from Blitz-ravaged Britain, an opportunity for a whole new life in America – a country that was more affluent, more modern and less class-ridden than home.

Some 70,000 G.I. brides crossed the Atlantic at the end of the war to join the men who had captured their hearts – but the long voyage was just the beginning of a much bigger journey.

Once there, the women would have to adapt to a foreign culture and a new way of life thousands of miles away from family and friends, with a man they hardly knew out of uniform. Some struggled with the isolation of life in rural America, or found their heroic soldier was less appealing once he returned to Civvy Street. But most persevered, determined to turn their wartime romance into a lifelong love affair, and prove to those back home that it really was possible to have a Hollywood ending.

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Product Description


‘Apart from the strength of the individual stories, one of the richest things about this book is the detail: the atmosphere on the rackety old ships which took the war brides across the Atlantic; the hideous, humiliating medical inspections they had to endure before being deemed fit to enter the USA; the dreadful anxiety of waiting for men who had promised to meet them on arrival, but didn’t show up…’ Bel Mooney, Daily Mail

About the Author

Duncan Barrett and Nuala Calvi are the bestselling authors of The Sugar Girls, which chronicled the stories of young women working in Tate and Lyle’s factory in the East End of London.

Duncan studied English at Cambridge and is a writer and editor, specialising in biography and memoir. As a journalist, Nuala Calvi has written for The Times, The Guardian, The Independent, The Express, the BBC, CNN and numerous Time Out guides.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 826 KB
  • Print Length: 368 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins (29 Aug. 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • : Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (88 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #51,249 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating subject 2 Sept. 2013
This is a social history of what has seemed to be a forgotten part of WW2 history - the young (in most cases) and unsophisticated girls from dreary war torn Great Britain who met and fell in love with that most glamorous of creatures - a Yank.

This book takes the story of 4 young women and follows them through courtship, marriage, motherhood and beyond, all trying to cope with life in a new country with husbands they hardly knew and who in fact, were completely different back in civilian life.

It's written in a colloquial style which will be familiar to readers of the authors' other book The Sugar Girls so it is easy to read and zips along at pace.

All in all a good summer read and one that might induce you to find out more about these brave women - some of whom still meet up in clubs for War Brides all over the USA
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Heartwarming piece of history 9 Sept. 2013
As I was blown away by the writers' first book 'The Sugar Girls' I knew that 'G.I Brides' would be on the same level. And I was not wrong. The stories of the four women are not only heartwarming, but engrossing. It shows two sides of a love story, and the problems that lay ahead for the British brides as they crossed the Altantic for the men they fell in love with. By the end I felt like I knew the women individually, due to the books compelling portrait of them. An excellent read, and highly recommended to anyone who enjoys a true wartime story.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating read 11 May 2014
Format:Kindle Edition
Another book club book – this one chosen by my own mother. GI Brides was chosen as a Biography, she didn’t want us to read about a celebrity and so looked for a book about some ordinary people.

GI Brides tells the story of four girls who met and married American GI’s during World War II and details their lives and journeys to the US and how they were able to adapt to living over there and how they were accepted into the various communities and families.

Before starting this book I was expecting some happy stories about how they met the loves of their lives and how wonderful everything was – naive I know, but that was what I expected. What I read was very different. Out of the four girls only one of them ended up with a happy marriage with their GI. The others ended up with a womaniser, a drunk who beat his wife and a gambler.

It was interesting to see how these men seemed like completely different people while they were in the UK and how they reverted back to their true characters once they were back on home soil. These girls did not have an easy time of it. There were issues with their in-laws and being accepted into the family, being separated from their own families and being in a strange land with different customs.

They had to fight for everything they had and sometimes were pushed to the limit before admitting that they had to make a change to improve their relationships/lives. For me, I think being separated from my family would have been the biggest strain. This was at a time where you couldn’t just pick up the phone and call if you felt homesick, no Skype and travel between the US and the UK wasn’t easy or cheap.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars GI brides 13 Sept. 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I enjoyed the whole book I could not put it down to me all the detail was good and enjoyable
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Readable, enjoyable, interesting subject 10 Sept. 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is a very readable book from these two authors and tells the stories of several girls living in the London and Southampton area who met married American servicemen stationed in England during the Second World War. It's a romantic story we are all familiar with but of course the reality is different and the course of true love does not always run smoothly. It is fascinating to hear the voices of the women describing their lives with all the ups and downs they experienced when they first arrived in the US as GI brides and later in life. A story well worth telling.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great read 13 Sept. 2013
Having enjoyed their previous book, The Sugar Girls, I knew I would like this book. I like the way it is told through the experiences of four women who all had such different experiences. A really easy read and a great introduction to the subject.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An interesting account of a GI Bride 27 May 2014
During WWII when American GIs arrived in Britain, young English girls were happy to find that they had more dates that they could wish for. The American GIs had charm, charisma, and gentlemanly behavior that even some girls, who disliked them at first, eventually were won over. In fact when VE Day came, there were 70,000 women who became GI brides. GI Brides tells the story of four young brides who left behind their parents and homeland, to cross the Atlantic for love.

The novel chronicles the lives of Sylvia, Margaret, Rae, and Gwendolyn. The chapters switch back and forth from person to person. The beginning tells of their courtship with an American GI. These GIs not only won the hearts of these girls, but also their families. They seemed like their ideal dream guy that these girls were instantly infatuated and were in total bliss. When the GIs proposed to them, they accepted them. They were willing to make sacrifices to be with them because they loved them. But crossing the Atlantic was only part of the story. One of them actually found happiness in her husband. The other three found that there husbands were not whom they thought they were. These three husbands who seemed to be perfect gentlemen turned out to have a dark side to them.

I found that each of the four women were very strong and admirable. They were like any young girl who looked for love and hoped for a happy marriage. Yet when they went to the U.S. to be with their husbands, they found that they would have to adapt to a new culture, and to their new husbands. They struggled and coped with their marriages. During their trials, they struggled to find their happiness and eventually they found it.

Overall, this novel is about family, love, sacrifices, choices, and hope.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars very good read
Having had an aunt who was a GI bride I have always been interested in the lives of these young women who fell in love with the American servicemen stationed here in WW2. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Lucy
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Great read
Published 3 months ago by P. E. Beard
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Interesting history of the war time brides and their american husbands.
Published 4 months ago by Robert Hull McCracken
2.0 out of 5 stars a bit of a slog
Content interesting but writing style pretty appalling. Think the way the booklet out ie a bit from each story and then returning and telling the reader a bit more, was done to... Read more
Published 4 months ago by Daisy
5.0 out of 5 stars This is such an excellent book! My aunt was a GI Bride and ...
This is such an excellent book!
My aunt was a GI Bride and left Hackney London for a new life in New England, after reading what these girls went through makes me realize what... Read more
Published 4 months ago by hydra
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
The item was well packed and met my expectations perfectly
Published 6 months ago by Tango Charlie
5.0 out of 5 stars G I brides
A wonderful way to find out about English girls who married American men during the war years and their lives afterwards.
Published 7 months ago by stalin
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Good, thanks
Published 8 months ago by Catherine
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
A good read at bedtime
Published 8 months ago by fife wonder
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
very happy
Published 9 months ago by peed off
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