"Spare Brides" is set in England in the 1920s and focuses on the effects of the First World War on the women and the surviving men. Although Adele Parks has published numerous novels, this is the first book of hers which I have read so I was unsure what to expect. The setting of the glamorous 1920s intrigued me and as you see from the cover, this is a book which is mostly about the 'upper crust' of 1920s society (with a couple of exceptions).
The plot focuses on a group of four friends, Ava, Beatrice, Lydia and Sarah, and their differing paths in life. Lydia is the main character and we often see interactions with the other characters through her eyes. This book is extremely detailed, about the characters and the setting, but despite that it became rather a slog around the halfway mark. Lydia is married to a man who is very decent, kind and gives her everything she wants but she is repulsed by him because he didn't fight in the war: he had a government desk job. As the book progressed, I found myself liking Lydia less and less. I won't spoil the ending for readers but suffice to say, on the whole I was dissatisfied by this book: overly long and characters who are hard to sympathise with. In my opinion it would be a better book if it was edited to be shorter. I started off intrigued and enjoying it but was ultimately disappointed.
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