The Ship of Brides: A Novel
Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub
Look out for Jojo’s new book, Paris for One and Other Stories, coming October 18, 2016.
From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Me Before You, After You, and One Plus One, in an earlier work available in the U.S. for the first time, 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.
the letters from her father (business, money, golf), mother (travel details, dresses) and sister (“quite happy by myself, thank you, blah-blah-blah”), then came to Ian’s envelope. She gazed at his handwriting, wondering at how one could sense authority even in ink and paper. Her mother had always said there was something immature about men with bad handwriting. It suggested that their character was somehow unformed. She glanced at her wristwatch: there was ten minutes before the first lunch
had become completely dark outside. “Not much of a way to end a career, is it?” She heard the break in his voice. “Captain,” she said, “the only people who still have all the answers are those who have never been faced with the questions.” Outside his rooms the deck light stuttered into life, throwing a cold neon glow through the window. There was a brief burst of conversation as several men left the squadron office and a pipe called repetitively “stand by to receive gash barge alongside.”
the pallor of Captain Baillie’s face. She couldn’t stand to see a man with a pale face: she always wanted to check them for blood disorders. “Only problem with my blood is there’s not enough whisky in it,” he muttered. They toasted Sister Luke, her future husband, the end of the war and Churchill for good measure. Shortly after ten o’clock they walked out into the tented ward, a little more erect, a little less relaxed, as they stood before their charges. “She’s in B Ward,” said the sister,
had been holding in her left hand, and was locked to him for an interminable length of time, her hands clutching his hair, his face pressed to hers, as they occasionally broke off to touch noses and murmur each other’s name. Unable to get past them, Avice had to stand there, trapped on the gangplank, trying to look away as the couple were passionately reacquainted. “Avice!” Her mother was bobbing up and down on the other side of them like a brightly colored cork. “There she is, Wilf! Look at our
“Why . . . why would you want to paint me?” It was the first time I ever saw him look even mildly disconcerted. “You really want me to answer that?” I had sounded, I realized, as if I were hoping for compliments. “Mademoiselle, there is nothing untoward in what I ask of you. You may bring a chaperone, if you choose. I merely want . . . Your face fascinates me. It remains in my mind long after I leave La Femme Marché. I wish to commit it to paper.” I fought the urge to touch my chin. My face?