My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Time taken to read - 1 day
Publisher - Hodder
pages - 482
Blurb from Goodreads
The year is 1946, and all over the world, young women are crossing the seas in the thousands en route to the men they married in wartime - and an unknown future. In Sydney, Australia, four women join 650 other brides on an extraordinary voyage to England, aboard the HMS Victoria, which also carries not just arms and aircraft but 1,000 naval officers and men. Rules of honour, duty, and separation are strictly enforced, from the aircraft carrier's captain down to the lowliest young stoker. But the men and the brides will find their lives intertwined in ways the Navy could never have imagined.
It is 1946, brides are desperate to be reunited with their husbands, some who haven't seen they said I do and the men went off to war. The HMS Victoria is carrying weapons and naval officers and now 650 brides, coming from Australia to America. Putting such a mix together, in a confined space, under such conditions is a recipe for disaster, one the Captain can see but has no choice but to press on. Four ladies join the 650 and it is their story we follow through the voyage. Danger, lies, friendship, honor and secrets are just a few of the subjects covered throughout this tale.
I must admit, ever since Me Before You I have loved Jojo Moyes, something about her writing just draws you in to the time period and characters lives. Avice, coming from money and heading off to her new life and husband, can't help but judge along the way and flaunt her good fortune as she goes. Margaret, home girl who looked after her brothers and father after their mother left, not afraid to get dirty and muck in and takes people as she finds them. Frances, a nurse who is very reserved, cold at times and keeps herself to herself and lastly Jean, only sixteen and a live wire, quick to look for fun and find trouble fast. These ladies are shipped together for six weeks in a small cramped room and learn to live with each other and form unlikely friendships and learn how to accept each other.
The story took a bit for me to warm up to, we start in present day, an elderly lady happens upon something that takes her back to her voyage in 1946. We do not know her identity and learn the story as it goes. Once it warms up and you get to know the characters, I couldn't put it down and got through it in one day. Not her strongest novel but quite fabulous in its own right, it made me want to read about actual brides and their travels during that period of time. 4/5 for me this time, I intend on finding any of her other novels I have not yet read and eagerly await ones in the future.