I decided to borrow Spare brides from the library using the RB Digital app, as I had previously read I invited her in, by the same writer and had really enjoyed it. In addition to this the premiss of the story sounded interesting.
The book starts before a New Years eve party on the 31st January 1919, at a large house. Although not only is the year changing, but the decade is changing as well, to the 1920’s, which means that they will be in a different decade to the Great War (world war I), however the war still holds it spell over the people at the party. The novel is set around four women who have been affected by the war in a number of different ways from becoming a widow to being unable to find a husband due to the number of men who had died in the war.
The characters, were all well defined each having there own individual personality, which meant as the issues came up they dealt with the issues of their own and others in a way that was to be expected. This was also enhanced by the way the woman interacted with each other, with the conversations written in such a way to make them not only enjoyable but seemed natural to my ear.
At this point I need to say a few words about Lydia, the person who the book concentrates, on the most, as a lot of other reviews on this book are based on how people feel about this book. Lydia does seem to have it all married to the heir of a title, with access to the latest designs from Paris, however her life does have some downsides to it.
The first is, although she as been married since before the war, there is still no child to carry on the title and she thinks that it is only her fault. Secondly because of having no children, her marriage, is slowly disintegrating, which means Lydia can seem to be complaining all through the book.
When you take a look at this story at first glance the story seems just about a four women friendship group trying to find, there way in the world in the shadow of the war. On the other hand it is almost a social commentary, on Britten’s post war era, as women and men try and deal with its after affects of what we now know as PTSD, survivors guilt and a world that they had expected to be in as they grew up had changed but not only that was still changing.
The narration by Charlotte Strevens, not only enhanced my enjoyment of the book, but, with her acting ability allowed me be able to work out who was talking if I missed a little bit, if I was doing something while listening to the book.
I really enjoyed this book, not only the story it self but the relationships of the people, so if you are into books about social commentary of the time just after the First world War, or just one about friendship, then once again Adele Parks has done that with Spare Brides.
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