The War Bride by Pamela Hart
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
The war has ended and the English brides of Australian soldiers are now arriving in Australia. But what happens if the man you married isn’t waiting when the ship arrives? This is exactly what happens to Margaret Dalton.
Sergeant Tom McBride is in charge of checking everyone off the ship and takes Margaret to a hostel while the Army sorts out the whereabouts of her husband, Frank.
They find Frank is no longer at his stated residence and his papers also mention a wife and child.
Margaret feels like a fool but must now put on a brave face and come to terms with the idea that Frank deceived her.
”She’d been gullible, tricked by a warm smile and nice brown eyes. No. Forget him. She would wear her lovely nighties and use those embroidered tablecloths and be damned with him. But it was a hollow kind of defiance, a thin shell over pain and humiliation.”
I found this not only a captivating read it was also a sentimental journey as it was set in the area and time of my Grandmother’s early twenties and through Hart’s descriptions I could clearly see Sydney as my Grandmother would have seen and lived it.
I loved the Australian colloquialisms in the story. Well researched, the story comes across as real and natural.
The War Bride is a stand alone however I would recommend The Soldier’s Wife is read first. Not only because it is a moving read but it’s where the character of Tom McBride is first introduced. It will give you a whole new perspective on Tom’s heartbreak.
There is a lot of angst in this story as the characters rebel, with much soul searching, against the morals of the time.
Hart brings in relevant issues such as divorce, unemployment, religion, fear of being ostracized, dressing and doing what is considered proper. However these are all set around a changing country and Hart integrates the push for acceptance and change on a lot of levels.
My thanks to Hachette Aus via Netgalley for my copy to read and review.
I loved this book so much I have bought myself a paperback copy.