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The Ship of Brides
Cover of The Ship of Brides
The Ship of Brides
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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 futures1946. World War II...
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 futures1946. World War II...
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  • 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.

Excerpts-

  • From the cover

     

    Prologue

    The first time I saw her again, I felt as if I’d been hit.

    I have heard that said a thousand times, but I had never until then understood its true meaning: there was a delay, in which my memory took time to connect with what my eyes were seeing, and then a physical shock that went straight through me, as if I had taken some great blow. I am not a fanciful person. I don’t dress up my words. But I can say truthfully that it left me winded.

    I hadn’t expected ever to see her again. Not in a place like that. I had long since buried her in some mental bottom drawer. Not just her physically, but everything she had meant to me. Everything she had forced me to go through. Because I hadn’t understood what she had done until time—eons—had passed. That, in myriad ways, she had been both the best and the worst thing that had ever happened to me.

    But it wasn’t just the shock of her physical presence. There was grief too. I suppose in my memory she existed only as she had then, all those years ago. Seeing her as she was now, surrounded by all those people, looking somehow so aged, so diminished . . . all I could think was that it was the wrong place for her. I grieved for what had once been so beautiful, magnificent, even, reduced to . . .

    I don’t know. Perhaps that’s not quite fair. None of us lasts forever, do we? If I’m honest, seeing her like that was an unwelcome reminder of my own mortality. Of what I had been. Of what we all must become.

    Whatever it was, there, in a place I had never been before, in a place I had no reason to be, I had found her again. Or perhaps she had found me.

    I suppose I hadn’t believed in Fate until that point. But it’s hard not to, when you think how far we had both come.

    Hard not to when you think that there was no way, across miles, continents, vast oceans, we were meant to see each other again.

    INDIA, 2002

    She had woken to the sound of bickering. Yapping, irregular, explosive, like the sound a small dog makes when it is yet to discover where the trouble is. The old woman lifted her head away from the window, rubbing the back of her neck where the air-conditioning had cast the chill deep into her bones, and tried to straighten up. In those first few blurred moments of wakefulness she was not sure where, or even who, she was. She made out a lilting harmony of voices, then gradually the words became distinct, hauling her in stages from dreamless sleep to the present.

    “I’m not saying I didn’t like the palaces. Or the temples. I’m just saying I’ve spent two weeks here and I don’t feel I got close to the real India.”

    “What do you think I am? Virtual Sanjay?” From the front seat, his voice was gently mocking.

    “You know what I mean.”

    “I am Indian. Ram here is Indian. Just because I spend half my life in England does not make me less Indian.”

    “Oh, come on, Jay, you’re hardly typical.”

    “Typical of what?”

    “I don’t know. Of most of the people who live here.”

    The young man shook his head dismissively. “You want to be a poverty tourist.”

    “That’s not it.”

    “You want to be able to go home and tell your friends about the terrible things you’ve seen. How they have no idea of the suffering. And all we have given you is Coca-Cola and air-conditioning.”

    There was laughter. The old woman squinted at her...

About the Author-

  • Jojo Moyes is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Giver of StarsMe Before You, After YouStill MeParis for One and Other StoriesOne Plus OneThe Girl You Left BehindThe Last Letter from Your LoverHorse DancerSilver BayThe Ship of Brides, and The Peacock Emporium. She lives with her husband and three children in Essex, England.

Reviews-

  • AudioFile Magazine Moyes, a master of characterization, hits the mark in this U.S. release of one of her earlier works. Narrator Nicolette McKenzie expertly draws the listener on board naval carrier HMS VICTORIA for the six-week voyage of 650 Australian war brides who are journeying to meet their British husbands. McKenzie portrays a wide range of personalities of varying ages and stations as the brides and a thousand Navy men traverse the ocean. The story centers on four brides who are randomly assigned to share a cabin for the voyage. McKenzie slowly peels away the layers of each bride's story with wonderful pacing and intonation. Thanks to her expert use of accents, listeners will root for each character's dream to come true. M.N.T. © AudioFile 2014, Portland, Maine

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