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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very well written
It is February 1955, and Iris Jones is saying goodbye to her family, and to Britain. She is about to embark upon a life-changing journey, across the Atlantic to start married life with her American soldier husband Bob. More than 100,000 women left the shores of England as GI Brides and Iris, at age sixteen was probably one of the youngest. She was just a small child...
Published 12 months ago by Lincs Reader

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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A glimpse into her life
I don't normally read these sort of non-fiction books but when a copy of The GI Bride arrived out of the blue I decided to go it a go. Although this is the second memoir that Iris Jones Simantel has written, the good news is that it can be read completely as a standalone.

Iris is just 15 when she meets and falls in love handsome American soldier Bob Irvine who...
Published 15 months ago by Sharon


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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A glimpse into her life, 3 Jun 2013
By 
Sharon (Wiltshire) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: The GI Bride (Paperback)
I don't normally read these sort of non-fiction books but when a copy of The GI Bride arrived out of the blue I decided to go it a go. Although this is the second memoir that Iris Jones Simantel has written, the good news is that it can be read completely as a standalone.

Iris is just 15 when she meets and falls in love handsome American soldier Bob Irvine who sweeps her off her feet. However, just months later when Bob hears that he is due to return to the United States he proposes and they get married shortly after Iris' 16th birthday so that they can still be together.

Having endured wartime rations and post war life in Britain, Iris has high hopes for a new exciting life in America but life doesn't exactly turn out for her as she'd hoped. Being young and a long way from family, Iris has to grow up fast and it's only the support of fellow British GI brides that makes life bearable for her especially without any real support from her husband or his family.

I really wanted to love this story especially as it was about Iris' own life in post war times but I can't quite put my figure on why it didn't grab me as much as I wanted to. I'm not sure if it was due to the narrative which I found to be rather bland and simplistic as if she had to reel off a list of events that happened over a timeframe but there didn't appear to be any real substance to the story. It also seemed to come to a very sudden ending which has obviously left room for a follow up book to pick up where this one left off.

Don't get me wrong there were were bits that I did find eye-opening, the noticeable differences between life in post-war Britain and life in the US, the way she was treated by the Lutherian churches she went to for solace and guidance, and how openly she talks about attending a back-street clinic, but these instances were few and far between. I'm sure if you enjoy reading true-life memoirs then this is a book for you.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very well written, 29 Aug 2013
By 
Lincs Reader (Lincolnshire, England) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 100 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: The GI Bride (Paperback)
It is February 1955, and Iris Jones is saying goodbye to her family, and to Britain. She is about to embark upon a life-changing journey, across the Atlantic to start married life with her American soldier husband Bob. More than 100,000 women left the shores of England as GI Brides and Iris, at age sixteen was probably one of the youngest. She was just a small child when World War II was being fought, she met her husband Bob after the war. Iris did not have a happy home life, she felt unloved by her parents, and was living in poverty - America really did seem like the land of opportunity.

Starting with the account of her awful sea voyage over the Atlantic, to her first sighting of the Statue of Liberty, and then finding herself living with parents-in-law who made it plain that they didn't approve of her, Iris Jones Simantel recounts with honesty and often with humour how her dreams didn't quite come true. No more than a child herself, her courage and bravery, and sometimes her utter desperation shines through her writing. It's quite incredible that a young girl, barely out of school and very inexperienced would be allowed, or encouraged to make that journey - so far away from everything familiar, with no support except for a husband who she barely really knew.

The GI Bride is a down-to-earth story, told very well by an author who creates a wonderful sense of place with her writing. She does not shy away from the harsh realities of her life, she doesn't gloss over the things that she had to do to survive, and is totally honest about what she did. There is no doubt that Iris made some decisions that she may have come to regret, but it has to be remembered that she was young, alone, and incredibly protective of her young family.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A real insight into what life was like in 1950′s London and America, 22 May 2013
This review is from: The GI Bride (Paperback)
This is a book that gave me a real insight into what life was like in 1950′s London and America, having been born in 1989 and only just scraping by the title of being an 80′s kid I actually wasn't aware of what a GI bride really was. GI stands for either Government Issue or General Issue and GI bride refers to the latter, it's British brides of American servicemen during the war.

Not many books I have read are true accounts of a person's life; those that I have read haven't been as interesting as this one. Iris Jones Simantel was the Saga Magazine life story competition winner and her debut novel Far from the East End tells the story of her growing up as a child and being an evacuee, this book however is about her adult life and follows a 16 year old Iris on her journey over seas (being very sea sick) to America with her new husband and starting a new life.

As somebody who was born and raised in the British Army family I imagined she would move to America and live on a camp/base and live the life of a Military wife. What I hadn't realised was that many of the soldiers had only been enlisted for the war, I don't think they had a choice at the time. So upon their return home they were no longer soldiers and went on to live their previous civilian lives. This meant Iris had to move into the family home of her new husband living with the in-laws who didn't seem to care about her while she had just left her family and friends, it was tough and she went through a lot.

With multiple marriages and divorces, being beaten, dealing with drunks and having two children to raise life wasn't a fairly tale, but it wasn't all bad either as Iris had may good friends who helped her.

Overall this is a good read and enough to keep the reader engaged as you follow Iris on her journey you may stop to realise how easy things are for us today. I'd actually like to know what happened next!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great book, 18 May 2014
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This review is from: The GI Bride (Paperback)
Having read the first book I was dying to see what happened to Iris and I wasnt disappointed, I have really enjoyed both books.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great story, 4 April 2014
By 
Mrs. Anne Boyd (scotland,UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
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This review is from: The GI Bride (Paperback)
Loved hearing how this woman survived in America. I read the first book on how she met her GI Husband.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Great follow up to Far from the East End ..., 27 Mar 2014
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This review is from: The GI Bride (Kindle Edition)
This is the follow-up to Far from the East End and it continues with the honest and raw account of
Iris' life in America. Iris' humour throughout her often troubled life astounds me and I suppose this is what kept her going. Iris still has more stories to tell about her life and hopefully we won't have long to wait to read about them.
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5.0 out of 5 stars great great book!, 26 Jan 2014
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This review is from: The GI Bride (Kindle Edition)
totally loved this book and no this isn't my mother writing! she's got her own amazon account now lol .
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5.0 out of 5 stars A fabulous book!, 8 Dec 2013
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This review is from: The GI Bride (Paperback)
I am loving this book. A most entertaining and enjoyable read. This and the other books arrived securely packaged and quite promptly. I would read books by this author again.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyed it, 27 Nov 2013
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This review is from: The GI Bride (Paperback)
not as much as the previous one but very readable have passed it on to a neighbour who also enjoyed it
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5.0 out of 5 stars Totally Gripping, 11 Nov 2013
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This review is from: The GI Bride (Kindle Edition)
Throughout the book I felt I was part of the family. When I had finished it I was left wanting more. I loved it
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The GI Bride
The GI Bride by Iris Jones Simantel (Paperback - 9 May 2013)
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