Monday, October 6, 2014

GI Brides

I love WWII stories.  I love reading about the people, how it happened, what life was like, and what they did to make do.  I really enjoyed GI Brides by Duncan Barrett & Nuala Calvi which is a TRUE story of four different British women who married American GIs.  It isn't all roses, but what marriage is? There is pain, trouble love and perseverance.  There is polio, alcoholism, gambling, ridiculous in laws, courageous women, fabulous sister-in-laws, supportive parents and great new friends.

Description: For readers enchanted by the bestsellers The Astronaut Wives Club, The Girls of Atomic City, and Summer at Tiffany’s, an absorbing tale of romance and resilience—the true story of four British women who crossed the Atlantic for love, coming to America at the end of World War II to make a new life with the American servicemen they married.

The “friendly invasion” of Britain by over a million American G.I.s bewitched a generation of young women deprived of male company during the Second World War. With their exotic accents, smart uniforms, and aura of Hollywood glamour, the G.I.s easily conquered their hearts, leaving British boys fighting abroad green with envy. But for girls like Sylvia, Margaret, Gwendolyn, and even the skeptical Rae, American soldiers offered something even more tantalizing than chocolate, chewing gum, and nylon stockings: an escape route from Blitz-ravaged Britain, an opportunity for a new life in affluent, modern America.

Through the stories of these four women, G.I. Brides illuminates the experiences of war brides who found themselves in a foreign culture thousands of miles away from family and friends, with men they hardly knew. Some struggled with the isolation of life in rural America, or found their soldier less than heroic in civilian life. But most persevered, determined to turn their wartime romance into a lifelong love affair, and prove to those back home that a Hollywood ending of their own was possible.

G.I. Brides includes an eight-pages insert that features 45-black-and-white photos.

My favorite part about this book is that it is true and it does NOT read like a boring non-fiction read.  Not to say that non-fiction is boring, but we've all read the type! This reads like fiction and you would never know it was true if you didn't read the back cover.  Err, that would be me ha.  I apparently didn't read that little fact until midway through the book they had the pictures and I was like oooh and I looked on the back and read "true story" yeah...

I loved reading all the different stories.  I enjoyed reading about Sylvia's time during WWII when she worked at a hotel and volunteered for the Red Cross.  Margaret's situation with her husband kept me intrigued and I couldn't wait to get back to the chapters about her.  Lyn had a fascinating life and I really enjoyed reading about her Italian mother-in-law who she feuded with! Rae was a very brave and strong person and her story was very interesting as well. 

I can't really pick a favorite because they each had very interesting parts of their stories.  Hence why they were picked.  In the back the authors were interviewed and they said they had interviewed thousands of women who came across to marry their GI's but they picked these four because they all over came an obstacle. 

A very quick and entertaining read.  Super informative and a new look into WWII for me!

Have your read books about what was happening in Great Britain during WWII? Did your grandparents meet during that time period? What is your favorite WWII book?

I received this book from the publisher but all thoughts and opinions are my own!

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