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The GI Bride Iris had escaped the Blitz but now lived in crippling poverty after the war until a chance meeting changed her life Aged just sixteen she fell in love and married US soldier Bob Irvine And soon after she set sail for a new life in AmericaIt was the 1950s the land of hope dreams and Doris Day movies But Iris ended up in a cramped Chicago bungalow shared with Bob's parents With a baby on the way and a husband turning daily into a stranger Iris was wracked by homesickness Trapped and desperately lonely she had to make a fresh start in a country where hope and opportunity thrivedIn this dramatic seuel to the Sunday Times bestseller Far From the East End we follow young Iris Jones Simantel from London to New York Chicago and Las Vegas in her struggle to find work love and a sense of belonging in a foreign land


10 thoughts on “The GI Bride

  1. says:

    A lovely book about a GI bride


  2. says:

    This is a book that gave me a real insight into what life was like in 1950′s London and America having been born in 1989 and only just scraping by the title of being an 80′s kid I actually wasn’t aware of what a GI bride really was GI stands for either Government Issue or General Issue and GI bride refers to the latter it’s British brides of American servicemen during the warNot many books I have read are true accounts of a person’s life; those that I have read haven’t been as interesting as this one Iris Jones Simantel was the Saga Magazine life story competition winner and her debut novel Far from the East End tells the story of her growing up as a child and being an evacuee this book however is about her adult life and follows a 16 year old Iris on her journey over seas being very sea sick to America with her new husband and starting a new lifeAs somebody who was born and raised in the British Army family I imagined she would move to America and live on a campbase and live the life of a Military wife What I hadn’t realised was that many of the soldiers had only been enlisted for the war I don’t think they had a choice at the time So upon their return home they were no longer soldiers and went on to live their previous civilian lives This meant Iris had to move into the family home of her new husband living with the in laws who didn’t seem to care about her while she had just left her family and friends it was tough and she went through a lotWith multiple marriages and divorces being beaten dealing with drunks and having two children to raise life wasn’t a fairly tale but it wasn’t all bad either as Iris had may good friends who helped herOverall this is a good read and enough to keep the reader engaged as you follow Iris on her journey you may stop to realise how easy things are for us today I’d actually like to know what happened next


  3. says:

    Iris’ account begins with her experiences as a child in WW2 her evacuation including the alienation of returning to a family she could barely remember This leads on to being re housed after the war in Hertfordshire where she meets American serviceman Bob IrvineAlthough this a reflective account I could still ‘feel’ the innocence of that young women setting out on a journey that would take her a long way from her family and her roots From the journey to New York through all the moves and changes in her life while living in America Iris shares with the reader a very honest and sometimes brutal account of her experiencesIt’s interesting to read about the differences between life in the UK and US back then Things we take for granted now our debit cards supermarkets freezers etc of course didn’t exist in the UK then Even the foods Iris had to eat with her in laws Germanic heritage were totally different Iris finds solace with the church at different points in the narrative and her experiences here are interesting too Iris is admirable in how she copes with trying to fit into the different circumstances that she finds herself Within these pages you’ll find the darker side of life too alcoholism and abuse but despite these experiences that happen without her family by her side Iris’ spirit of making things work shines through Not giving up each time something happens to sidetrack her she picks herself up and moves through a different phaseThrough all her trials and tribulations – romance health and finding a place to belong Iris takes us with her on her journey from an innocent 16 year old GI bride to a 26 year old who has experienced many things and although happy is still trying to find a place to belongI would like to thank the publisher for providing a copy in exchange for an honest review


  4. says:

    I have to declare an interest Iris Jones Simantel is a distant cousin of my cousin's husband However I have never met herI read her first book Far From The East End which finishes as sixteen year old Iris sets off for the US with her new American husband I feared for her and wanted so much to know how her life turned out In GI Bride the story unfolds and the skinny teenager has to come to terms with a life which is short on Hollywood glamour but certainly not short of character and drama and occasional high comedyI think I enjoyed this book so much because I came to it straight from reading a literary novel which was carefully researched and calculated to climb the bestseller lists but which didn't really have a heart This book is uite the reverse it's not literature but it is raw urgent telling of a story which clearly needs to be told And that turns out to be important


  5. says:

    I thought this would be happier? It's very very sad and makes amaerican men seem horrible I really hope this isn't an accurate cross section of American WW2 soldiers Interesting but not a must read


  6. says:

    This was an extremely easy book to read Iris doesn’t shy away from the good the bad and the ugly in her life Her honesty was what compelled me so much as I read


  7. says:

    It is February 1955 and Iris Jones is saying goodbye to her family and to Britain She is about to embark upon a life changing journey across the Atlantic to start married life with her American soldier husband Bob More than 100000 women left the shores of England as GI Brides and Iris at age sixteen was probably one of the youngest She was just a small child when World War II was being fought she met her husband Bob after the war Iris did not have a happy home life she felt unloved by her parents and was living in poverty America really did seem like the land of opportunityStarting with the account of her awful sea voyage over the Atlantic to her first sighting of the Statue of Liberty and then finding herself living with parents in law who made it plain that they didn't approve of her Iris Jones Simantel recounts with honesty and often with humour how her dreams didn't uite come true No than a child herself her courage and bravery and sometimes her utter desperation shines through her writing It's uite incredible that a young girl barely out of school and very inexperienced would be allowed or encouraged to make that journey so far away from everything familiar with no support except for a husband who she barely really knewThe GI Bride is a down to earth story told very well by an author who creates a wonderful sense of place with her writing She does not shy away from the harsh realities of her life she doesn't gloss over the things that she had to do to survive and is totally honest about what she did There is no doubt that Iris made some decisions that she may have come to regret but it has to be remembered that she was young alone and incredibly protective of her young family


  8. says:

    Iris Jones makes an early marriage to US soldier Bob Irvine Although only sixteen she feels that she has met the man of her dreams and is prepared to leave behind her family in England and crosses the Atlantic to a new life in America But America in the 1950s is very different from the home she has known and at first Iris struggles to cope with her marriage and a baby What then follows is the detail of Iris’s life as she copes with the loneliness of being trapped in a country where she is considered a stranger Forthright and brutally honest Iris doesn’t shirk from telling it like it is – from the cramped living conditions she shares with her husband’s parents through to infidelity despair and overwhelming homesicknessThis is a follow up to Iris’s first memoir – Far from the East End and is a worthy continuation of this feisty woman’s chronicle of her life in all its glorious detail


  9. says:

    The GI Bride is a tightly written seuel memoir to Far from the East End Iris now a GI bride lands in the United States on a boat with her GI husband ready to begin a new life With money tight and relatives even tighter Iris does her best to carve out a life in America receiving criticism for her Cockney accent and British ways As George Bernard Shaw said Britain and America are two countries separated by a common language I have known Iris for ten years and can report she has found her way in the world regardless of being dealt some tough hands


  10. says:

    This is the follow up to Far from the East End and it continues with the honest and raw account of Iris' life in America Iris' humour throughout her often troubled life astounds me and I suppose this is what kept her going Iris still has stories to tell about her life and hopefully we won't have long to wait to read about them


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