The Ship of Brides by Jojo Moyes

November 3, 2014 Historical Fiction, World War II 17

Ahoy Bookworms!

One of my favorite things about reading, particularly when I read historical fiction, is learning new things. I mean, you THINK you know all there is to know about WWII and its aftermath and BAM. Something new. Did you have any idea that enough Australian women married British service members to necessitate a post-war trip hauling 650+ war brides to England in an aircraft carrier? And that was just ONE of the ships. Thank you, Jojo Moyes, for teaching me these things. *And thanks to Netgalley for providing me with a complimentary copy of The Ship of Brides for review consideration.*

shipofbridesThe Ship of Brides focuses on four Australian war brides who are making the pilgrimage to England aboard the Victoria. Everyone on board (brides and crew) are held to strict behavioral standards. Let’s face it, attempting to keep hundreds of young brides who haven’t seen their husbands in ages (and who likely didn’t know them all that well to begin with) AND hundreds of young sailors who just finished fighting a war to keep their hands off each other was going to require some discipline, you know?

Margaret, Frances, Avice, and Jean end up being bunk mates. Margaret is enormously pregnant and facing a new life on a new continent with a husband she barely knows, AND motherhood. Jean is all of 16 years old. She’s flippant, flirty, and a bit of a party gal. Avice is an uber snob from a fancy schmancy family. She spends her time looking down her nose at everyone and making me want to smack her. Frances was a nurse during the war and has a past full of SECRETS, I tell you! These four are stuck together on a boat, sharing a tiny room, in equatorial heat for SIX WEEKS. I’ll let you imagine that cesspool for a minute and then try to figure out just how well they all got along, mkay?

So, you know I love Jojo Moyes. I’ve read and enjoyed Me Before You (review), The Girl You Left Behind (review), Silver Bay (review), and One Plus One (review). I liked The Ship of Brides overall… It’s just that my Jojo Moyes standards are SO HIGH. The book started out kind of slowly for me and I found it dragged a bit. Then all the juicy tidbits were stuffed into the last few pages. It’s a great story, I just thought the pacing could have been better. Still, if you like historical fiction, WWII, or Jojo Moyes, you should DEFINITELY check this out!

Talk to me Bookworms. Since this book takes place on a boat, why NOT talk about cruises? Have any of you been? Do you recommend them? 

*If you make a purchase through a link on this site, I will receive a small commission. Maybe I’ll hoard the cash and buy a cruise.*


17 Responses to “The Ship of Brides by Jojo Moyes”

  1. Leila @ Readers' Oasis

    I read this as well . . . and I agree, there were some pacing issues and it started off slowly. Not an absolute favorite of mine, but still interesting if you like the time period!

    • Words For Worms

      You know, I think a lot of these are backlist Jojo Moyes titles that were never released in the US. The Girl You Left Behind was really good though, very interesting historically. I think you’ll like it!

  2. Leah @ Books Speak Volumes

    I love the concept of this book, but I’m sorry to hear it dragged!

    I went on a cruise once, in high school, with my family. It was fun (midnight buffet!), but definitely not my favorite way to travel. I’m more of a backpacking gal.

  3. Megan M.

    I used to think I could enjoy a cruise, until those news stories within the past few years about what happens when they lose power. Not good. No thank you. And then there’s still the possibility that they’ll sink. Open water is not the place for a gal who never learned to swim.

  4. Jenny @ Reading the End

    I started reading this and got an eeeeensy bit bored. Usually I really like Jojo Moyes though!

    I have never been on a cruise and I probably never will go. Have you read David Foster Wallace’s essay about it? “A Supposedly Fun Thing I’ll Never Do Again”? It’s…pretty persuasive about not going on a cruise. :p

  5. Jennine G.

    I’m in the middle of this one right now and I agree with what you’ve said so far. And now I can’t wait to get to the juicy tidbits at the end! I’ve only read one other Moyes – Me Before You. I kinda like Ship of Brides better…I think it’s the historical side that makes it seem more literary that is swaying me.

  6. Isi

    I need to read this one!
    I loved Me before you and now I want to read more by this author – thank God she has a number of books already!
    I think I’ll also like The ship of brides, so to the list it goes!

Talk to me, Bookworms!

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