WAR BRIDES by Lois Battle


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Like Battle's Season of Change (1980), this is a silky, heart-softening bit of suds-about a boat-load of war brides who sail from Australia at the end of World War II to join American husbands. The principal brides: Dawn, who--with small daughter Faye and a new baby--is to join Zac (blue, blue eyes and a broad, flat accent) in Ohio; Sheila, wife of boyish Billy, who's headed for what she imagines is horse-riding country in Virginia; and cool, glamorous Gaynor, who has guessed that nice husband Ricky (of whom she's merely fond) is Kansas-City-rich. There are, predictably, shocks in store. Living is intolerable for Dawn in the same house with Zac's foster mother ""Suds,"" a dour, super-clean Bible-thumper: she rebels, is moved to a tawdry storefront, and will later trail Zac to California near a camp (he refuses to leave the Navy). Meanwhile, poor Sheila (from a comfortable if oppressive home) finds herself in poverty-stricken hillbilly country with dear Billy, who can't seem to hold a job: she feels trapped when she has a baby. . . until no-nonsense Dr. Helen takes Sheila under her professional wing, encouraging her through nurses' training and arranging for her to have an abortion. And ambitious Gaynor finds herself ha luxury but falls in illicit love with Ricky's virile father Richard--a ruthless tycoon (with an alcoholic wife) who sires Gaynor's child. . . while Ricky finds a nice, sensible sweetheart. So, at the dose: homesick Dawn will take the children home to her loving family in Australia; Sheila will opt to stay with Billy for a new start; and Gaynor, lonely and lost, is bombed out in Manhattan. Bubble-bath soap--goodhearted and companionable.

Pub Date: Feb. 14th, 1981
Publisher: St. Martin's