January 10, 2023
February 2-22, 2023
It was one of the most searing images of the twentieth century: two young boys, two princes, walking behind their mother’s coffin as the world watched in sorrow—and horror. As Princess Diana was laid to rest, billions wondered what Prince William and Prince Harry must be thinking and feeling—and how their lives would play out from that point on. For Harry, this is that story at last. Before losing his mother, twelve-year-old Prince Harry was known as the carefree one, the happy-go-lucky Spare to the more serious Heir. Grief changed everything. He struggled at school, struggled with anger, with loneliness—and, because he blamed the press for his mother’s death, he struggled to accept life in the spotlight. At twenty-one, he joined the British Army. The discipline gave him structure, and two combat tours made him a hero at home. But he soon felt more lost than ever, suffering from post-traumatic stress and prone to crippling panic attacks. Above all, he couldn’t find true love. Then he met Meghan. The world was swept away by the couple’s cinematic romance and rejoiced in their fairy-tale wedding. But from the beginning, Harry and Meghan were preyed upon by the press, subjected to waves of abuse, racism, and lies. Watching his wife suffer, their safety and mental health at risk, Harry saw no other way to prevent the tragedy of history repeating itself but to flee his mother country. Over the centuries, leaving the Royal Family was an act few had dared. The last to try, in fact, had been his mother. . . . For the first time, Prince Harry tells his own story, chronicling his journey with raw, unflinching honesty. A landmark publication, Spare is full of insight, revelation, self-examination, and hard-won wisdom about the eternal power of love over grief.
I was so excited to read Prince Harry’s book, Spare. And better yet, to listen to him narrate it. (Memoir’s are always so much better when read by the author!) But I’ve got to be honest… this book was excessively long and much of that was snooze-worthy.
I absolutely felt for Harry. He’s certainly the black sheep of his family and I realize there are two sides to every story, but he certainly made me feel for him.
Harry is a man still haunted by the death of his mother. Haunted by a family legacy of never displaying emotion. Haunted by the press.
Unless you’ve been living alone on a deserted island the past few years, there’s no doubt you’ve seen the headlines about Prince Harry and his wife Meghan Markle, but his battle with the press goes so much further back. He’s never liked them, but after the role they played in his mothers death, he will never forgive them.
Reading his story really did make me realize how awful the press treat those who are famous. Unlike actors and musicians though, Harry never chose that life. He was born into it. He can’t escape it. And while some may find that he spends the whole book “whining” about his lot in life, I disagree. Harry hates the system and wants to change it, and I respect that.
What really slowed the book down for me though was his talk about life in the military. I get it, that was a big part of his life. It’s where he felt most himself and accepted. But I hate war and fighting and the fact that militaries have to exist, so that section really dragged for me.
If you’ve seen the Netflix special or any of the interviews with Harry and Meghan, that section of the book will hold no surprises for you. It was very repetitive of has already been said by the couple time and time again.
I suppose I would recommend this book to anyone who is a die-hard fan of the royal family or…. no, that’s probably it. It’s not a bad book, it was just… a lot. And didn’t hold my interest as I anticipated it would. And was a reminder that some people are fortunate to be able to drop everything and spend months at a time in Africa doing charitable work, or hop on a plane and cross the globe without a worry about the financial hit that plane ticket will cost.
I suppose what I’m saying is, I just couldn’t relate to Prince Harry. And why should I, he’s a prince and I’m just a random woman from America.