“Damaged and beautiful, they were the generation who lost so much and became ‘spare brides’. The richly compelling and emotional new novel from Sunday Times bestselling author Adele Parks is the powerful story of four extraordinary women left to pick up the pieces of their lives, in the scarred, glamorous and endlessly fascinating post-First World War era.
New Year’s Eve, 1920. The Great War is over and it’s a new decade of glamorous promise. But a generation of men and women who survived the extreme trauma and tragedy will never be the same.
With countless men lost, it seems that only wealth and beauty will secure a husband from the few who returned, but lonely Beatrice has neither attribute. Ava has both, although she sees marriage as a restrictive cage after the freedom war allowed. Sarah paid the war’s ultimate price: her husband’s life. Lydia should be grateful that her own husband’s desk job kept him safe, but she sees only his cowardice.
A chance encounter for one of these women with a striking yet haunted officer changes everything. In a world altered beyond recognition, where not all scars are visible, this damaged and beautiful group must grasp any happiness they can find – whatever the cost.”
Firstly, thank you to Georgina and Headline Publishing for sending me a beautiful ARC of Adele Park’s novel to read & review.
I give * * * stars to Spare Brides.
I had no expectations on reading this as it is my first Adele Parks experience and I’d also heard that it was a far cry from her usual chick lit novels.
Set in 1920’s post Great War we follow four ladies, each affected by the war in some way and now trying to move on and live again. I found the class divide explained wonderfully in this book, with the hardship and suffering of the normal people, to the wealth and glitz from the upper classes – each then being drawn together by a chance meeting that change the ladies lives forever.
The descriptive prose is effortless and gave me a clear image of the surroundings and the 1920’s tragedies that befell the elegant men and women of this era. I had no problems taking myself to that time and enjoying the elegance they lived in with them!
As we follow our ladies, we are captured by the realities of war and how deeply the men suffered and were forever damaged – both physically & mentally. Each woman also had her own history and sadness and each deals very differently with moving on.
I enjoyed Spare Brides but was not hooked, nor particularly sad when I’d finished it. I did however find it an enjoyable, historic, well written read, hence my 3 stars.
Buy Spare Brides here
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Adele Parks was born in Teesside, NE England. She studied English Language and Literature, at Leicester University. She published her first novel, Playing Away, in 2000; that year the Evening Standard identified Adele as one of London’s ‘Twenty Faces to Watch.’ Indeed Playing Away was the debut bestseller of 2000.
Prolific, Adele has published nine novels in nine years, including Game Over, Tell Me Something and Love Lies, all nine of her novels have been bestsellers. She’s sold over a million copies of her work in the UK but also sells throughout the world. Two of her novels (Husbands and Still Thinking of You) are currently being developed as movie scripts. Young Wives’ Tales was short listed for the Romantic Novelist Association Award 2008. She has written numerous articles and short stories for many magazines and newspapers and often appears on radio and TV talking about her work.
Since 2006 Adele has been an official spokeswoman for World Book Day and wrote a Quick Read, Happy Families as part of the celebrations of World Book Day, 2008.
Adele has spent her adult life in Italy, Botswana and London, up until two years ago when she moved to Guildford, where she now lives with her husband and son.
Adele’s Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/OfficialAdele and Twitter: @adeleparks