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Spare, A Book Review

The more I read the more I found myself thinking, “God, this poor guy can’t catch a break,” and “the press is why we can’t have nice things.”

Spare by Prince Harry book cover.

Overview

My Rating

5 stars (because duh)

Average Rating

3.87 stars

Genres

Nonfiction, memoir.

Descriptors

Emotional, informative, reflective.

Pace

Medium-paced.

CW/TW

Graphic: death of parent, war, grief. Moderate: suicidal thoughts, miscarriage, racism (see the full list here).

Book Summary

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, (Storygraph).


My Review

Spare has three parts. The first discusses Prince Harry’s early life and through his teen years, the second focuses on his time in the British military, and the third on his life with Meghan. This review will discuss my thoughts on each part and highlight the events that stuck with me the most.


Part 1

My first shock upon starting this book belonged to the titles: Heir and Spare. I had no idea that this was how the press, and most of the general population, referred to the two brothers as. The second shock belonged to Diana’s death. I wasn’t even born yet when she passed away, but I had heard bits and pieces about her life over the years. One of which I had forgotten: how she had died.


This early part of Harry’s life struck me to the core as I suffered a similar loss around the same age. His experiences with grief and lack of identity, his overall numbness and depression, I related to deeply.


Part 2

Prince Harry’s time in the military offered both insight into how the army operated (I’m a writer, ok, research is research), and into his internal mindset. For the first time he was able to experience anonymity.


The more I read the more I learned how disconnected the press and paparazzi are from reality. They seemed to lack the basic knowledge that their actions had real life consequences, and during Harry’s time in the military - those consequences were a matter of actual life or death.


Part 3

If you’ve watched Harry and Meghan’s Netflix documentary you already know a lot of what happens during part three of this book. However, the number of pink sticky flags I marked in this section is overwhelming.


J. R. Moehringer, the ghostwriter of Spare, perfectly captured Harry’s story and experiences - and most importantly his love for his wife and family.


Meghan

I remember first hearing the news that Prince Harry and Meghan Markle were dating. As someone who watched Suits (up to season 4 at least) and loved Meghan Markle’s character, Rachel Zane, I was happy for the two of them.


Watching both the Netflix documentary and reading Spare offered some more insight into Meghan’s experience. Primarily: the racism.


As a biracial woman myself I connected with her statements on the topic. I was just as upset as her when her race came into question when she was pregnant with Archie. The press and the Royal Family creating problems where none exist.


Final Thoughts

I thoroughly enjoyed Spare. I experienced the full breadth of emotions as well, from happiness, to fear, to anxiety, to empathy, even fury.


To have your entire life in the public eye, to not have a say in it, to have lies published about you and not be able to refute them.


When Harry and Meghan relinquished their official titles I thought: “Good for them.” They deserve their privacy - and safety. They deserve to take back control of their lives.

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