‘The Marriage Bureau: The True Story of How Two Matchmakers Arranged Love in Wartime London’ by Penrose Halson

tmb phSTORY: In the spring of 1939, with the Second World War looming, two determined twenty-four-year-olds, Heather Jenner and Mary Oliver, decided to open a marriage bureau. They found a tiny office on London’s Bond Street and set about the delicate business of matchmaking. Drawing on the bureau’s extensive archives, Penrose Halson—who many years later found herself the proprietor of the bureau—tells their story, and those of their clients.

From shop girls to debutantes; widowers to war veterans, clients came in search of security, social acceptance, or simply love. And thanks to the meticulous organization and astute intuition of the Bureau’s matchmakers, most found what they were looking for.

Penrose Halson draws from newspaper and magazine articles, advertisements, and interviews with the proprietors themselves to bring the romance and heartbreak of matchmaking during wartime to vivid, often hilarious, life in this unforgettable story of a most unusual business.

REVIEW: Lately I’ve been fascinated with WWII stories and movies, so I was looking forward to reading this novel.

I’m not sure what went wrong with this story but I had a bit of a hard time getting through it. It took me forever to finish it. I think it’s the pace that made this story drag on and that had me like it less.

In the end, I liked the insight it offered into life when my parents were born and if you’re interested in this topic, you might enjoy it more than I did.

Melanie for b2b

Complimentary copy provided by the publisher

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