The Ship of Brides by Jojo Moyes



The Ship of Brides is based on the real life journey of 650 Australian women who sailed to England following World War II to be reunited with the army and navy men they wed during the war. For many women, it is their first trip away from home and the comforts they are used to enjoying. Jean, Avice, Maggie and Frances are four of the brides thrown together on the ship with little in common other than their Australian passports and the insecurities that haunt them along the way. Did they make the right decision to leave home? Do their husbands still love them? What life is waiting for them in England?

Although I liked many things about The Ship of Brides (the history, setting and characters, heck even the book’s title), I found most interesting how the navy tried to create a suitable living situation for the women and how the brides survived weeks of living in such cramped conditions with a bunch of sailors. I think if I was stuck on a ship for six weeks, I would be incredibly grateful for a cheesy talent show and seminars on three ingredient meals and living with a husband who has PTSD.

Unfortunately, I found The Ship of Brides predictable and sometimes a little boring. The flashback at the beginning felt too long and flash forward at the end too cliché. The four brides in the story were interesting because of their contrasting personalities, but there was no real camaraderie between them and I was fairly indifferent towards their characters.

After reading Me Before You and One Plus One, I fell in love with Jojo Moyes and thought this book was a guaranteed good read. The Ship of Brides wasn’t gawd-awful, but it wasn’t a page-turner either. I still love the history behind the plot and how it commemorates all of the women who made the journey, including Jojo Moyes’ grandmother! But I have to agree with many other readers that while the premise is fantastic, somehow the execution of the story could have been better.

3/5 Stars

PLEASE NOTE: I received an ARC of The Ship of Brides with much thanks to Penguin Canada, but this in no way influenced the thoughts and opinions expressed in my review.


6 comments on “The Ship of Brides by Jojo Moyes

  1. Naomi
    December 18, 2014

    It’s too bad it wasn’t as good as her other books. It’s a good history lesson, though. And cool that her grandmother was one of them!


    • ebookclassics
      December 19, 2014

      A very interesting event in history and I think I might look for other books about these women.


  2. Lola @ Hit or Miss Books
    December 22, 2014

    Oh, so this is based on a true story? Interesting! Although, it’s too bad you didn’t care for the brides much 😦 It doesn’t seem like something I would read, but I’m glad it wasn’t all bad! Nice review 🙂


  3. DoingDewey
    January 27, 2015

    I liked this but didn’t love it either. I also expected something better after reading some of her other books and felt a lot less connected to the characters in this one. And I also noticed how cheesy the flash forward at the end was! It made me a little emotional, but it also felt almost manipulative to me. Not my favorite of her books, for sure.


    • ebookclassics
      January 30, 2015

      The book was really missing something, wasn’t it? Manipulative is an interesting way of putting it and now I’m thinking hmm …, To me it seemed very formulaic and boring.


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This entry was posted on December 18, 2014 by in Reviews and tagged , .

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