A War Bride's Story: Risking It All for Love After World War II


115 pages
Contains Photos, Maps
ISBN 1-55153-959-4
DDC 971.24'203'092




Reviewed by Naomi Brun

Naomi Brun is a freelance writer and a book reviewer for The Hamilton


The Amazing Stories series recounts the adventures of real-life
Canadians throughout history. The narratives, written in simple prose,
move along at a fast-enough pace to hold the attention of even reluctant
readers. Although these books are not particularly scholarly, they are
informative, and they make history accessible to students in a way no
textbook ever could.

A War Bride’s Story chronicles the life of Gwendoline Haskell. Gwen,
a well-brought-up English girl, learned to make the perfect entrance, to
sip tea properly among society ladies, and to make feather-light scones.
These skills would have served her well in upper-class life, but Gwen
never got a chance to put them to use. She fell head over heels in love
with a Canadian pilot, married him after a scant 11 weeks, and followed
him to the northern Saskatchewan backwoods after the war.

Readers will find Gwen hard to resist. Plucky yet proper, she calls to
mind a slightly more genteel Lucy Ricardo. Her first encounter with a
Canadian outhouse is hilarious, and her struggles to understand and be
understood in this very different world are described by her daughter
with truth and love. She never fits in—at one point in time, she
describes herself as “a lime in an apple barrel”—but she never
gives up.

A War Bride’s Story breathes life into the plight of the thousands of
women who left England for love in the 1940s.


Faryon, Cynthia J., “A War Bride's Story: Risking It All for Love After World War II,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed April 13, 2024, https://cbra.library.utoronto.ca/items/show/14460.