- Audio Download
- Listening Length: 11 hours and 5 minutes
- Program Type: Audiobook
- Version: Unabridged
- Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers Limited
- Audible.co.uk Release Date: 29 Aug. 2013
- Language: English
- ASIN: B00EOVVIU2
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank:
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GI Brides: The Wartime Girls Who Crossed the Atlantic for Love Audiobook – Unabridged
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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
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. The message of the book is that even though you are going through tough trials, you will eventually come out of it and find happiness. This book is an interesting look WWII war brides. Margaret is Nuala Calvi’s grandmother so it is a personal and emotional account. I recommend this book to anyone who is interested in WWII memoirs. GI Brides is a thought-provoking novel that tells us true and compelling personal accounts of these four women. Even though this novel shows us the cost of the choices these women made to be with their husbands they barely knew, it reminds us that where there is darkness, there is hope and light.
(Note: This book was given to me by the author in exchange for an honest review.)
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. These girls left everything behind to follow their husbands and it was a shame that, for these four girls, it wasn’t the fairytale they were looking for.
It’s worth noting that out of the tens of thousands of young girls these 4 stories seem to be the exception. It was noted at the end of the book that they had a very low divorce rate compared with other couples and the majority were very happy. I’m not sure if I could have done what they did and stuck with it for as long as they did. It was a very fascinating insight into what went on during a very difficult time for both countries.
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