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  • Writer's pictureNZ Booklovers

War Bride by Patricia Fenton

War Bride follows the story of Evie, who is living in the Valleys in South Wales, and Frank, who is growing up in the Bay of Plenty in New Zealand, when this novel first opens.

Evie has a troublesome relationship with her mother, although she is close to her father. She is poor, and without many prospects in life, she seems doomed to be destined for a life as a housemaid. Across the other side of the world, Frank is a timber worker from a young age, but he’d much rather be working on a farm. But then the Second World War changes their lives forever. Evie goes to Cirencester to work at a munitions factory, and Frank joins the 11th Forestry Company of the New Zealand Army and is stationed in the same location.

War Brides is a work of fiction, but it is loosely based on the real-life experiences of the author's in-laws. This makes for fascinating reading, and but for the war, this Welsh girl and Kiwi boy never would have met. But their love story is a compelling read, and there are so many obstacles to their union. And then, when they are married, will they make it through the war with their lives?

I really enjoyed the level of detail in the book of the era, and it was interesting to learn about the work of the forestry company at this time – something I knew nothing about before.

War Brides by Patricia Fenton has it all – a romance based on real life, but also an insight into two ‘ordinary’ lives in these extraordinary times. An engaging read, I devoured the book on a Sunday afternoon.

Reviewer: Karen McMillan

Heritage Press


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