Tuesday, November 04, 2014

Review: The Ship of Brides by Jojo Moyes

Title: The Ship of Brides    
Author: Jojo Moyes    
Published: Penguin Books, October 2014
Format: ARC e-book, 464 pages
Source: Netgalley via Publisher  

From the New York Times bestselling author of Me Before You and One Plus One, a post-WWII story of the war brides who crossed the seas by the thousands to face their unknown futures

1946. World War II has ended and all over the world, young women are beginning to fulfill the promises made to the men they wed in wartime.

In Sydney, Australia, four women join 650 other war brides on an extraordinary voyage to England—aboard HMS Victoria, which still carries not just arms and aircraft but a thousand naval officers. Rules are strictly enforced, from the aircraft carrier’s captain down to the lowliest young deckhand. But the men and the brides will find their lives intertwined despite the Navy’s ironclad sanctions. And for Frances Mackenzie, the complicated young woman whose past comes back to haunt her far from home, the journey will change her life in ways she never could have predicted—forever.

My thoughts: It's no secret that I'm a big fan of Jojo Moyes. Ever since meeting her when she was on tour in the U.S. for the release of The Girl You Left Behind, which was the first book I've read of hers, I've just adored her. With her last two books being big hits in the U.S., all her previous books have slowly been re-released here in the states in print edition with fantastic new covers and this is the latest.

What I love about Jojo Moyes' books is how different they all are from each other. I've now read five of her books and each one is unique and fresh. She creates compelling characters and I find that I end up identifying with them in some way. I get so involved in the stories that I don't want them to end and this one was no exception.

My heart ached for the four women at different times throughout the book. Imagine being stuck on a warship, heading off to a foreign land to meet your husband to start a new life. Jojo Moyes really brings that desperation of so many days at sea and not being able to get off the ship. You are forced to bunk in a room with three other women that you don't know, and then to only be allowed in certain areas of the ship and to have many restrictions placed on you. Definitely not my cup of tea!

I will admit I was a bit confused at the beginning of the book. Set in present day, it opens with an elderly grandmother and her young granddaughter on vacation in India - huh??? They stumble onto the broken hull of a warship with the almost unreadable name "Victoria." Then the story flashes back to 1946 and the aftermath of WWII. It isn't until the end of the book that the story comes full-circle bringing us back to the grandmother and granddaughter, and let me tell you, my heart melted when I realized just who that grandmother was!

This is the type of book that really sticks with you. The characters are so vivid and well-drawn, that they just stay in your heart. What I find most fascinating, though, is that there really was an aircraft carrier, the HMS Victorious, that transported war brides at the end of the war from Australia to Britain and Jojo Moyes' grandmother was one of the brides on that ship. She wanted to create a story out of that tidbit of history and thus we have The Ship of Brides. I love when I learn the author's motivation behind their writing, and when it's so personal I think you really see that passion come out in the writing.

I am slowly making my way through Jojo Moyes' list of books and hope she continues to write for a long, long time! Have you read this one yet? Have you read any of her other books?



  1. I've read many of her books, but have not read this one (yet). I've loved all of the ones I've read. It's hard to pick a favorite, but it would have to be Me Before You. Went through plenty of tissues with that one :)

  2. Kristin, I am a new fan of Jojo Moyes, having just read Me Before You; I'm currently hosting a special giveaway on my book blog, so fans should stop by! I'm glad you enjoyed this book, as I want to read more books by this author soon. :)

  3. I haven't been able to get to this author as yet but she is on my wish list. This one sounds very good.

  4. I haven't but your comment about the grandmother has me intrigued!

  5. I am so glad to read your review! I love JoJo moyes and stopped reading this book after chapter 1, because I didn't understand the beginning. However, I will now continue it because I now know that it will come full circle and make sense in the end :D Great review!

  6. For reasons that don't really make sense to me I have yet to read any of Moyes books. This is really one that has appealed to me the least just based off the blurb but your review just pushed it up the list. It sounds amazing and like I need to have tissues handy when I get to the end!

  7. I loved Me Before You and One Plus One. I am looking forward to reading this one too. It makes it even more special that the author has a personal connection to the story.

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

  8. I LOVE Jojo Moyes, but I have to say that I was not a fan of this book. I couldn't even finish it. I think I got 100 pages in. It was just so confusing with all the different POV's. And it was a bit boring as well. Reading her book Windfallen now (one of her earlier ones). Hoping I have better luck. Have you read The last letter from my lover or The Girl You Left Behind? Those are amazing books by her.


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