War Brides

Did you know people in the 1940′s had illegitimate babies?! Oh MY! (please hear the sarcasm in that. Please). But you know, growing up with respectable (nudge, nudge) grandparents, I didn’t realize this happened. Thought teen pregnancy was a new thing, invented by people who wrote scripts for 1980′s after school specials with titles like “Did You Hear What Happened to Marti?”. But no. And in this wonderful story of sisterhood, friendship, and air raids, you get to hear lots of juicy details about the great sins of our foremothers–and their great heroics as well.

War Brides tells the story of 5 young women coming into their own during the start of WWII. I love WWII stories, all those details of home life, wartime in England; it reminds me of my grandparents telling me their own stories about those times. These girls were my grandparents’ age, too, and they are marrying and birthing babies in the midst of bombings and rationing. The distinct voices teeter on the edge of stereotype at times, but oh my goodness-then Bryan gets us to deep into these women’s minds and lives that no, they are not stereotypes, they are a diverse group–an American debutante with dirty laundry, a Cockney girl escaping more than bombs, a vicar’s daughter who we hope will learn to let her hair down (from her Victory roll hairstyle!), an English debutante with her own bad rap to erase, and Jewish refugee learning about love in this middle of it all. I loved this story, right up until it’s strange ending, which I’m conflicted about. Still mulling that part over. But it is, indeed, a GoodRead.

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