Captured Hearts: New Brunswick's War Brides.


144 pages
Contains Photos, Bibliography, Index
ISBN 978-0-86492-519-0
DDC 306.84'5097151




Reviewed by Deborah Hicks


Melynda Jarratt has made a career of drawing attention to the stories of Second World War War Brides. Her interest in their stories began with her Master’s thesis and has continued for the past twenty years. In addition to being a devout fan and supporter of War Brides and their stories, Jarratt is also a New Brunswicker. And, in Captured Hearts, Jarratt brings these together in volume 12 of the New Brunswick Military Heritage Series.

Captured Hearts: New Brunswick’s War Brides tells the stories of the British and European War Brides who immigrated to New Brunswick during and after the Second World War. Jarratt brings together historical fact and personal stories to tell the whole story of the War Bride—from falling in love during wartime and their overseas weddings, to travelling back to Canada and eventually settling in. The lives of the War Brides in New Brunswick were, generally, very different then their lives in Great Britain and Europe. These differences were a true test of the brides’ mettle. The move from a mainly urbanized environment to a province that did not have a province-wide electrical system until after the Second World War was a challenge for even the hardiest of women. Some thrived and had happy marriages and lives, while others did not fare as well. Jarratt does not shy away from telling the both the happy and the sad stories and she even devotes an entire chapter to “The Darker Side.” But, what will stick out in the minds of readers are the happy tales, such as the story of the Holocaust survivor who married a half-black, half-aboriginal man. Their story, which began in the horrors of the Holocaust, ends with a happy marriage that lasted over fifty years, three children, and a lot of broken barriers.

Captured Hearts sheds light onto a fascinating part of New Brunswick’s, and Canada’s, history. Although no two stories are alike, Jarratt manages to capture the commonalities inherent in the experiences of the brides while allowing the uniqueness of each tale shine.


Jarratt, Melynda., “Captured Hearts: New Brunswick's War Brides.,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed May 28, 2024,