Brides of War

Written by June Tate
Review by Nancy Henshaw

World War Two has ended, and servicemen are returning home, including the gallant, generous American GIs. British girls with American boyfriends have been lucky, but do they love them enough – are they brave enough – to join them as GI Brides in the fabulous country that is America? Two such young women become close friends on board ship as they cross the Atlantic Ocean. Valerie’s new husband, Ross, is a lawyer in New York while Gracie is destined for Colorado with Jeff. The girls are warm-hearted, adaptable and determined, but the hostility of in-laws soon becomes only a minor problem. Valerie’s outstanding talent is recognised by tutor Max at her art class; an exhibition of her work brings recognition from all around, and her husband sees her as a source of prestige for his own business. Journalists home in on Valerie’s relationship with Max, with whom she escapes to find inspiration in the magnificent scenery of Colorado, combined with a visit to her old friend, Gracie. Gracie desperately conceals the fact that her husband is a gambler, a drunkard and a bully. Her only unfailing friend amongst his family is his “wild boy” brother Rick. She longs to return to England, but when tragedy gives her the chance, her feelings are mixed.

Brides of War is easy to read, but I did so with care: could I find any anachronisms? No I could not; even ‘networking’ goes back a surprisingly long way. This is an unusual romance with two valiant heroines.