Bride Flight | Granta

  • Published: 01/04/2010
  • ISBN: 9781846273100
  • Granta Books
  • 448 pages

Bride Flight

Marieke Van Der Pol

Translated by Colleen Higgins

It is 1953, and the last great transcontinental air race from London to Christchurch is about to begin, but even before the KLM plane has left the runway, it has already become famous as the ‘bride flight’. Of its sixty emigrating passengers, many are brides-to-be flying out to join their fiancés on the other side of the world. Among them are Ada, Marjorie and Esther, each of them with their own reasons for wanting to leave behind the hardships of post-war life at home, and their own pasts. During the trip they meet Frank, a charismatic bachelor, who will come to have a dramatic influence on their lives, and who exerts a continued hold over each of the women as they follow their very different paths in New Zealand. It is only when they meet again, years later, at Frank’s funeral, that the three women – now ‘brides in black’ – get to hear each other’s stories for the first time and realize just how closely their lives have been bound together by what happened on the bride flight.

Marieke van der Pol has a talent for meticulously detailed characterisation, which, together with an assiduous translation by Colleen Higgins, bring these three women to life. The author weaves a rich, vivid story exploring the intersections of luck and disposition that make up the course of a life ... It is the subtle emotional and psychological journeys - and the shackles impeding women from moving on - that provide the greatest engagement here

Anita Sethi, Independent on Sunday

Van der Pol captures the heady excitement of the last great transcontinental air race from London to New Zealand

Big Issue in the North

In this evocative period piece, 60 emigrants are aboard a historic KLM flight in 1953, many of them joining their fiancés in New Zealand

Waterstone’s Books Quarterly

The Author

Marieke Van Der Pol is the author of the prize-winning script for the international hit film The Twin Girls. This, her debut novel, has also been made into a film in the Netherlands.

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