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on 12 March 2017
I really enjoyed this book, against my expectations, it had stared at me from my kindle for quite a while before I actually got around to reading it. The writing could have been slightly better but I thought the storylines were great and I certainly didn't anticipate the ending. Interestingly it still left a couple of loose ends, for example we are left not knowing what happened to Frances' baby, which is exactly how it would have been in the war and made the story all the better for leaving it hanging there.
Because I read it on kindle I didn't see there was a prologue until I had finished the book and reading it afterwards was I think better than if I had read it beforehand. I also went back and read the first chapter again which was useful. If you have the paper copy then I would definitely recommend leaving the prologue until last.
Good read and very insightful of women's lives during the war years.
4 people found this helpful
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on 23 May 2016
I really like this book and thankfully appear to have downloaded a copy that must have been 'sorted out' since the scathing reviews posted in 2012 about it's poor editing. Naturally, it still retains the language and spelling influences of the American author; just as I would expect my English ones to if living in America!

The opening chapters may throw you a little as it is not apparent just why it switches about between different people in different countries. But stay with it and all will become intriguingly and emotionally clear. Helen Bryan has engineered a very clever story; using poetic license to set the scene for her heroines and their families in a village in East Sussex, during World War Two.

I love her confident and fluent writing and really admire the obvious depth of research she did to create a really credible and absorbing story like this. Unlike many other reviewers, I thought that the ending was the icing on the cake and a stroke of genious for a way of neatly tying up the loose ends.
5 people found this helpful
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on 6 September 2016
I am glad I only paid £1 for this book. Having read The Sisterhood I thought I would try this one as it has a lot of hype attached. I should have read the 38 1* reviews first. Shallow characters who were not drawn enough for the reader to envision them; stereotyping including the mistreatment of blacks in the deep south, Jews in Germany, plain vicar's daughters. I have read to 15% and am giving up. Which is a shame as novels set in either of the 20th century's World Wars are my preferred reading.
3 people found this helpful
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on 24 July 2016
A beautifully written story covering the many aspects of war. The attitudes towards both colour and the Jews were brilliantly handled. The references to towns and villages in the Sussex were also key to my enjoyment of the book from the perspective of someone who has lived all her life in the area.

Deprivation and devastation experienced by those who lived through WW2 in London and the South of England were brought to life by the author's descriptions. I am looking forward to finding more works by this author.
2 people found this helpful
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on 25 May 2013
I really did enjoy this book; however I felt whilst it was "good" it had the potential of being "brilliant" but missed it. The storyline was very interesting, and the characters varied, but I felt that the author hand not developed it as much as possible. This book could have been twice the length and the characters written more in depth. There was so much more to say about all the individuals - their time during the war when the main story took place, and also the period in between the forties and the nineties. I just felt a little cheated because with so many characters I felt they were a little "skipped over" I thought it was a great ending (which I won't spoil for anyone) but again felt it was rather rushed and I would like to have had at least another chapter. I think overall my comments must be a compliment to the author, because it really did leave me wanting to know much more about the characters, the whole plot etc. I agree with some of the reviewers about the poor editing but that is not the author's fault. Certainly a good read, and I would recommend.
5 people found this helpful
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on 25 September 2017
A good story which held my interest right up until the frankly ridiculous ending. However there were far too many Americanisms for what is after all a story set in war time England. Quite apart from the repeated use of the word 'gotten' and the American spelling of words such as 'grey' and 'humour', the final chapters of the reunion and the programme presenter speaking to camera and getting a 'great shot' of the war brides together- it just doesn't ring true for how English documentaries are made. Also, no bride in any English wedding that I have ever seen or attended walks up the aisle going step, pause, step, pause. It just doesn't happen like that in the U.K. A little more research might have prevented these things.
I enjoyed the overall story however.
One person found this helpful
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on 2 January 2017
Enjoyable in parts but some events seemed far-fetched and the ending and tying up of the loose ends was rather abrupt. I quite enjoyed the stories of the various women initially (aside from the excruciatingly stereotyped "cockney" and southern U.S. accents) but a few improbably convenient elements crept in, like someone overhearing lots of secret information.
2 people found this helpful
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on 22 June 2014
I did not enjoy this book. In fact, I gave up half way through it. It is the story of several women who start from different places and end up in the same English village during World War II. I thought it had the potential for a good story, unfortunately the idea was very poorly executed. You never really get to know these women: I could hardly picture what they looked like and what their character was like.
Probably because of this, some of the story did not make sense. An example: the american girl who comes from some privileged Lousiana family and turns out to be an excellent cook and a very nice person (at least until half way through the book). Really? From the information until that point I had imagined her to be a pretty, superficial, spoiled girl, who grew up with servants and cooks and who didn’t think twice about ruining somebody else’s life to pursue her own interests. I kept hoping to be drawn into the story, but it never happened. There are too many good books waiting to be read to waste time on this one.
3 people found this helpful
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on 25 February 2017
This was an unusual presentation of what happened during WW2 to a group of women who met then and became lifelong friends. The backgrounds of each one were very different and even from other countries including a Jewish woman who was a refugee from Nazi Germany and a spoiled young woman from the deep south of USA who ran away from problems created by her own hand as it were. They all meet 50 years later at the celebration of the end of the war and then flashbacks tell their stories as they are thrown together in a southern English village with the Battle of Britain going on overhead. There were some ends left untied which made it a bit raggy but a good story.
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on 15 October 2016
I very much enjoyed this Kindle book, which had an interesting storyline, mixing many parts and areas of the conflict in an unusual way. The way the story was written carried you forward, so as to discover the conclusion, with a very satisfactory result. Just one error concerning the second mention of a V1 weapon, which was then called V2 for some unknown reason, as it was obviously not this weapon and it was correct the first time it was mentioned. Apart from this error, there was so much correct background detail, the research must have taken some time.
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