Cover image for GI brides : the wartime girls who crossed the Atlantic for love
GI brides : the wartime girls who crossed the Atlantic for love
Barrett, Duncan.
Personal Author:
First U.S. Edition.
Publication Information:
London : William Morrow, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers, 2013.

Physical Description:
361 pages, 16 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations ; 21 cm
"Worn down by years of war and hardship, girls like Sylvia, Margaret, and Gwendolyn were thrilled when American GI's arrived in Britain with their exotic accents, handsome uniforms and aura of Hollywood glamor. Others, like Rae, who distrusted the Yanks, were eventually won over by their easy charm. So when VE Day finally came, for the 70,000 women who'd become GI brides, it was tinged with sadness--it meant leaving their homeland behind to follow their husbands across the Atlantic. And the long voyage was just the beginning of an even bigger journey. Adapting to a new culture thousands of miles from home, often with a man they barely knew, was difficult-but these women survived the Blitz and could cope with anything. GI BRIDES shares the sweeping, compelling, and moving true stories of four women who gave up everything and crossed an ocean for love"--
Added Author:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Central Library D810.W7 B347 2013 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area
Audubon Library D810.W7 B347 2013 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
Lancaster Library D810.W7 B347 2013 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
Orchard Park Library D810.W7 B347 2013 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
Julia Boyer Reinstein Library D810.W7 B347 2013 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf

On Order



For readers enchanted by the bestsellers The Astronaut Wives Club, The Girls of Atomic City, and Summer at Tiffany's, an absorbing tale of romance and resilience--the true story of four British women who crossed the Atlantic for love, coming to America at the end of World War II to make a new life with the American servicemen they married.

The "friendly invasion" of Britain by over a million American G.I.s bewitched a generation of young women deprived of male company during the Second World War. With their exotic accents, smart uniforms, and aura of Hollywood glamour, the G.I.s easily conquered their hearts, leaving British boys fighting abroad green with envy. But for girls like Sylvia, Margaret, Gwendolyn, and even the skeptical Rae, American soldiers offered something even more tantalizing than chocolate, chewing gum, and nylon stockings: an escape route from Blitz-ravaged Britain, an opportunity for a new life in affluent, modern America.

Through the stories of these four women, G.I. Brides illuminates the experiences of war brides who found themselves in a foreign culture thousands of miles away from family and friends, with men they hardly knew. Some struggled with the isolation of life in rural America, or found their soldier less than heroic in civilian life. But most persevered, determined to turn their wartime romance into a lifelong love affair, and prove to those back home that a Hollywood ending of their own was possible.

G.I. Brides includes an eight-pages insert that features 45-black-and-white photos.

Author Notes

Duncan Barrett was born in 1983 in London. He is a writer and editor of biographies and memoirs. He is the editor of Ronald Skirth's pacifist First World War memoir, The Reluctant Tommy, in 2010. In 2012 Barrett co-wrote, The Sugar Girls, with Nuala Calvi. The story tells of female workers at Tate and Lyle's East End factories since the Second World War. It quickly became a best-seller. In 2013 the duo put out their second book together, GI Brides. It was based on interviews with British women who married Americans during the Second World War. It soon became a Sunday Times best-seller. Their third book, The Girls Who went to War, went to the Sunday Times best-seller list in 2015.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

During WWII, when thousands of American GIs were stationed in Britain, thousands of young British women were testing their newfound freedom born of war conditions. They were working as secretaries and in war factories, lending their efforts as hostesses and recruits in the armed services, warned away from the GIs by their parents, brothers, and other British troops. But how could they resist the exotic accents and glamour of relatively more prosperous young men as hungry for romantic adventure as they were? Barrett and Calvi profile four young women Sylvia, Rae, Margaret, and Gwendolyn as they met and eventually married American GIs. When VE Day finally came, they were among the 70,000 women who traveled to the U.S. as GI brides. What they found was the reality of a very different culture, sometimes rural isolation, an ocean away from their friends and families, married to men they barely knew. Barrett and Calvi chronicle the journey each woman took as she managed to make a new life for herself and her new family.--Bush, Vanessa Copyright 2014 Booklist

Library Journal Review

After the end of World War II, an estimated 70,000 British women migrated to the United States to marry soldiers they met during the conflict. Although their experiences varied, all the women shared the task of adapting to a new country without the benefit of family and friends. Nearly 70 years after the initial arrival of the women, coauthors Barrett and Calvi (Sugar Girls) reunited to compile the accounts of 60 brides throughout the States. The result of their efforts is an archive that provides access to some of the oral histories collected (available online at, as well as contemporary stories of four GI brides. Their narratives illuminate the challenges faced by these women along with the ups and downs of their experiences during and after the war. VERDICT While serious scholars might prefer Jenel Virden's well-documented and more analytical Good-Bye, Piccadilly: British War Brides in America, most readers will find this chronicle an entertaining vehicle for learning about the British GI brides' experiences.-Theresa McDevitt, Indiana Univ. Lib., PA (c) Copyright 2014. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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