Sometimes it is the most unexpected occurrences in life that lead to outcomes you could never have imagined. This is definitely the case for the heroine of “The War Bride” Margaret, who sails out from England to find the man she married in wartime already married. With nothing to call her home, she decides to make a new life in Australia, pulling through heartbreak to find a life that brings her the fulfillment that she had hoped for. But things are never that simple…
This story has a genuinely Australian flavour that I really enjoyed. There’s a particular scene where Margaret visits the beach for the first time and is struck by how different the antipodean experience is to the visits to the shore she has at home. I loved the way that the author intertwines post-war societal expectations of women around the central story, viewing them as a subplot to the main storyline rather than a key event.
I also liked that the major characters are all just trying to do the best they can under less than ideal circumstances. Sometimes you can do what is right and sometimes you can do what makes you happy and sometimes, if you are really lucky, they are the same thing. The big choices in life are seldom easy and I was impressed that Pamela Hart showed the struggle – that things are rarely black and white.
While it deals with some challenging subject matter, I would definitely class this as a easy read, one that’s easy to get through on a lazy Sunday morning or for that cross-Tasman flight. It was the perfect “palate cleanser” for me in between a couple of meatier novels and I’d definitely recommend this for anyone who wanted a lighter novel that still retained some definite substance.