Friday, January 13, 2023

January Read: Spare by Prince Harry


I hadn't planned on reading this book. But I was at the bookstore the day it came out, and they had a stack of it; I thought heck why not? It would be interesting to read from his own words.

I'm old enough to remember all the way back, when Diana and Charles were first dating. I was a few years younger than Diana, so it was all a fairy tale, and the first time I'd really ever been aware of the British Royal Family. I was invested in a way I think a lot of women my age were through the years, and utterly devastated when Diana died. Completely, shockingly upset. 

I've cheered Harry on when he met Meghan, and was so obviously happy and in love. Finally, a happy ending. And yes, a happy ending, but not without sacrifice and a lot of sorrow. 

I don't care whether you think ill of H & M or are big fans. I'm not here for a debate. I will say I found the memoir engaging, a quick read, and a glimpse into a life none of us can imagine. A memoir about a young boy, and a man, traumatized over losing his mom, and unable to cope for many, many years. Someone searching for a meaningful life, and struggling to find it in the confines of the family he was born into. Yes, privilege, but it came with a lot of shackles. And who wants that? 

Harry's story, told from his viewpoint, is compelling and interesting. His love and frustration for his brother and family are evident. It is possible to love someone and also be heartbroken by them, and angry with them. Disappointed. Hopeful somehow it will all eventually work out. 

I have heard, as most have, the "excerpts" the press have taken from this book. It was good to actually read the book, and realize most of it was taken out of context for shock value. I think it's also important to realize this young man is a person, and  he has experiences we can all relate to. His anxiety is relatable; his belief his mom was still alive somewhere, understandable. Anyone who has lost a loved one goes through that stage where you think somehow they are still alive, somewhere. For Harry, that lasted for years. I still find myself reaching to call my sister, or thinking what my Dad would say about such and such. Both have been gone for years, but I still have those moments where I forget, and then that crushing realization that no, they are gone. 

I can't imagine having my photo taken anytime I am anywhere; thousands of photos. I shudder at the snaps my boyfriend takes of me at home, doing everyday stuff. Ugh. Please delete those photos! At least he's the only one who sees them, not thousands of folks all over. How do you stand that?

Anyway. I enjoyed reading this memoir. Some spots are harsh, but honest. There is definitely a terrible relationship between the Institution and the press. The press is voracious and has an unquenchable thirst. No ethics at all. 

Rating: 5/6 for a memoir from someone who has lead a unique life. 

Available in hardcover, ebook, and audio (I recommend listening to the audio, as Prince Harry himself narrates it.)

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