I'm a bookworm of the highest caliber! If you see me, I'll probably be reading. There's nothing I love more than finding a good book, and then sharing it with the world!
This was our May book pick for the book club that I run. I never would have picked this up on my own, but I'm honestly glad I gave this a shot. I was newly introduced to the idea of a "war bride". I had no idea that so many women married servicemen, and then blindly came over here on ships just hoping for the best when they arrived in America. It's rather fascinating to me! Although The War Bride Club is fiction, it does have that vibrant spark of history behind it and I was intrigued.
I loved the first third of this book. Watching June, Alice, Betty and Madeline become fast friends on their voyage over was so much fun. They shared their stories, giggled over American sayings, and speculated as to what they would find when they arrived. Soraya Lane crafts four women who, although they all come from the same place, each have their own quirks and pitfalls. I felt attached to all of them, and wished them only the best. What a scary prospect to travel into the unknown, don't you think?
The latter half of the book follows these women through their lives, after they arrive. This was the part that started to lose me. I give kudos to Lane for managing to write such different outcomes for each woman, but some of them felt so forced. The ones I felt most attached to were the ones who had the most struggle, mainly because I feel like that's closer to real life. Then the ending came and, sorry to spoil but it's necessary, they all ended up with their own little slice of happily ever after. Was I disappointed? Slightly. I know we all wish for our own HEA, but is it reality that all of them would get just that? Probably not.
I also felt like the ending was really rushed in an effort to get to those happy endings. Which was unfortunate, because I really did like hearing about their relationships and lives. The fact remains that, while this was a good read, I really feel like it could have been a little bit better. I'd have happily read 100 more pages to feel more fulfilled. For now, I give this a solid three stars! Well worth a read if you're a historical fiction fan.