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Spare Brides by [Parks, Adele]
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Spare Brides Kindle Edition

4.0 out of 5 stars 201 customer reviews

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Length: 418 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Product Description

Review

A wonderful book about a group of women struggling to deal with life after World War One. Bright young things and disappointed hopes, it is a heady cocktail of love, class and beaded frocks. Her most accomplished novel yet (Daisy Goodwin)

There are some seriously fab frocks in Adele Parks' latest novel. Dramatic and swooningly romantic, this is historical fiction with real heart (Marie Claire)

[Adele Parks'] love of the era shines through in this big romantic tale (Woman & Home)

A total smash (Heat)

Want a moving and thought-provoking book about love to warm you up for Valentine's Day? Set in the roaring '20s after WW1, it tells the story of four women trying to find happiness despite tragedy (Look Magazine)

You'll love the drama, the gorgeous dresses, grand houses and, in particular, the handsome but damaged love interest (Good Housekeeping)

A wonderfully absorbing tale of friendship, rich in period detail (Stylist)

A fantastic read (Fabulous Magazine)

Book Description

Sunday Times bestseller Adele Parks turns her laser-sharp perception and empathy to a forgotten generation of women against the tumultuous and opulent backdrop of post-First World War England.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1992 KB
  • Print Length: 418 pages
  • Publisher: Review (13 Feb. 2014)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00F0LUS2Y
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars 201 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #18,704 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This gloriously written, powerful novel was superb. Four friends, women from privileged backgrounds, struggle to absorb and overcome the ravages the Great War war has wrought. Everyone is expected to do their duty, yet some cannot, too much has changed. Set against a glittering backdrop of wealth and glamour, I love this era and was immediately immersed. What I did not expect was to care so much for the characters, solid, lovely Sarah, razor sharp Ava and Bea, transforming beautifully as her circumstances dictate. And Lydia, her torrid affair and concern for her fate had me turning pages long after I should have been asleep.
I have always loved Adele Park's books, she is an excellent writer, yet with this change of genre I feel she has stepped up a gear, moved into a different realm, evocative, effortless and extraordinary. Brilliant, thank you Adele.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is somewhat of a departure from Adele Parks normal style, normally her books are contemporary fiction but on this occasion she transports us back to the 1920’s and the years post World War I.
With it being the centenary of the end of the war features it has been a popular topic both in the media and in books. Parks has decided to focus upon how the loss of so many young males led to a shortage of potential husbands for the young women after the war and how this impacted their lives.
The book features 4 such women, Beatrice who’s plainess and lack of fortune makes her a poor catch in society, her sister Sarah struggling to cope with the loss of her husband, Ava who is full of life and money and with no intention of marrying and Lydia who finds herself set to be the next Countess of Clarendale but who cannot forgive her husband for having not served at the front.
I worried before reading this book because of it not being in Parks usual era and my fears proved to be founded. I worried that the stories would mimic those of similar novels set at the same time and unfortunately this was true. A heroine disenchanted with her husband meets a handsome war hero, she’s struggling to conceive and unhappy in her marriage. From that point I had the whole plot sewn up and that disappointed me.
In fact the other 3 characters were grossly underused. Their stories playing out as a sideline as opposed to having equal time to develop. I would have enjoyed the book more had they spent more time exploring these rather than picking up and dropping them.
It’s brave of any author to try something new and I applaud Parks for trying: it wasn’t a terrible book it just fell into the trap many books set in this era can where they become staid and melodramatic. I’d be surprised if the author remained in this time period next time around as she seemed a little out of her comfort zone.
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Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
This is the first Adele Parks I have read in some time, I liked her earlier work but just don't seem to have gotten around to reading her later novels.

I was really excited to receive a preview copy of this book but it was very different to my expectations and I can't quite decide whether I liked it or not. It revolves around 4 friends:

Ava is a "new money" It girl and has a dazzling beauty which draws everyone to her. She is forward thinking and I guess, a feminist. She is single but has many dalliances and is not willing to conform to society's rules or expectations.
Lydia is another beauty who is desperate to conceive in order to carry on the family name but feels she is cursed as her husband served at a desk during the war. Bea and Sarah are sisters. Sarah lost her husband in the War and Bea is the ugly duckling hoping to marry and become what she has been "trained" to be her whole life.

One of the ladies embarks upon an affair which changes everything for her. I really enjoyed how the affair saw her from being superficial and loving chiffons and gowns, to getting a real grip of herself and start living. Her feelings become all consuming and she is forced to examine her life and make some difficult choices. The book then follows the other three ladies but I feel their narratives were not that central to the plot.

The reason I am torn about how I feel about this book is this: I wanted a sweeping 20s saga with romance and glamour, but sometimes it just felt a bit schmaltzy. I found some of the sex scene descriptions a bit graphic too, not that they went into great detail but just some of the imagery seemed out of context to me with the flowery descriptions of love, but I guess, that is the stark reality between sex and love.
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Format: Paperback
I heard Adele Parks talk at the recent Felixstowe Book Festival and was so impressed by her I rushed to buy a copy of this book at the end of her talk (having previously decided that I couldn't possibly buy any more books until I'd read some of the towering stack I had at home). Not only was I lucky enough to grab the last copy of this story (to the disappointment of several other ladies) but Adele was also kind enough to sign it for me.

I hadn't come across this author before (I know...) and have since purchased another of her books, but was drawn to the concept of this one in particular. We know the wartime romances - they have been done again and again. But how often do we think about the consequences of the war? Especially the massive shortage of eligible young men for a whole lost generation of women. In my own family tree there was a branch of sisters who remained unmarried - born at the wrong time - and these maiden great aunts were very much on my mind as I read the book. There simply weren't enough men to go round and Adele cleverly explores this phenomenon, albeit among the upper echelon of nineteen twenties Britain.

Not all of the ladies in the story get equal air time, but this was less of an issue than I thought it would be. I didn't want to read an unrealistic account where everyone got their happy ending. I felt she dealt with the subject matter and probable consequences for these four women expertly. Her period detail was exceptional, without letting it take over the book, and the characters became real to me - drawing out heartfelt emotional responses from me as a reader. But what will stay with me most are the few short but incredibly hard-hitting accounts of Edgar's experiences during the war. This was some of the best writing I've seen in a long time.

Thank you Adele - I can only aspire to write like this.
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