Books are food for my soul! Pull up a beach chair and stick your toes in the sand as the Jersey surf rolls in and out, now open your book and let your imagination take you away.

Monday, January 16, 2023

Spare by Prince Harry (Book Review)


Spare by Prince Harry
Publisher: Random House
Publication Date: January 10, 2023
Format: Hardcover - 416 pages
               Paperback - 672 pages
               Audiobook - 15 Hours 39 Minutes
               Kindle - 4766 KB
               Nook - 4 MB
ISBN (HC): 978-0593593806
ISBN (PB):  978-0593677865
ASIN (Audiobook): B0BJ4JGQGS
ASIN (Kindle): B0BCP3JP6F
BNID: 978-0593593813
Genre: Memoir

Buy The Book:

Book Description:

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 Diana, Princess of Wales, was laid to rest, billions wondered what the princes must be thinking and feeling - and how their lives would play out from that point on.

For Harry, this is that story at last.

With its raw, unflinching honesty, Spare is a landmark publication full of insight, revelation, self-examination, and hard-won wisdom about the eternal power of love over grief.

Prince Harry wishes to support British charities with donations from his proceeds from Spare. The Duke of Sussex has donated $1,500,000 to Sentebale, an organisation he founded with Prince Seeiso in their mothers' legacies, which supports vulnerable children and young people in Lesotho and Botswana affected by HIV/AIDS. Prince Harry will also donate to the non-profit organisation WellChild in the amount of £300,000. WellChild, which he has been Royal patron of for fifteen years, makes it possible for children and young people with complex health needs to be cared for at home instead of hospital, wherever possible. 

My Book Review:

Spare is the story of Prince Harry's telling his truth of life in Britain's Royal family that spans from Princess Diana's death on August 30, 1997 to Queen Elizabeth II's death on September 8, 2022. 

The memoir is broken into three parts: life after Princess Diana's death, his military career, and his romantic relationship / marriage to Meghan Markle. 

I read the memoir with an open mind, but I did take his account with a grain of salt, because every family has dysfunction, and like the old adage states that there is always three sides to every story: his, theirs (the Royal family), and the truth (which no one but Harry, the Royal family, and Royal insiders really know). That being said, I was still curious enough to read what Prince Harry had to say in his memoir, and I came away with the feeling that his life journey has been an emotional roller coaster ride that encompasses the full gamut of emotions. 

Spare starts out with the princes finding out from Prince Charles that Princess Diana has been killed in an automobile accident in Paris on August 30, 1997. Prince Harry was tweleve years of age when his mother died, and the reader can't help but understand how her death completely changed his life. Throughout the book, Harry's grief over the death of his mother is palpable, he did not believe she died until 2007 when he visited Paris and drove through the tunnel that he got a painful reality and closure. 

The second part of the book focuses on life after Princess Diana and his life in the Royal family. Prince Harry acknowledges that he did not enjoy living in the regimented life within the Royal fish bowl, and not having a normal life. He was not a good student, prone to panic attacks and low self-esteem, and had to deal with the Heir vs. Spare sibling rivalry and competitveness with Prince William. He also yearned for a close father-son relationship with Prince Charles, but his father was reserved and not one to express affection. 

The main theme throughout the memoir is devoted to Prince Harry's dislike and contempt for the paparazzi and their headlines and stories that often put him in a terrible light with the public (his naughty Harry partying days), and how the paparazzi was always ruthlessly stalking the Royal family, from his school days to his military career to his marriage to Meghan. He can't understand the Royal family's motto of never complain, never explain, and their complicity toward the media. It is this complicity and the fear for his family's safety that eventually leads Prince Harry and Meghan to leave the Royal family for the US. But underneath the surface is also his strained relationship with Prince Charles and Prince William that led him to write this memoir. I think that Prince Harry's recollections and shade towards his family will only lead to a permanent rift, there really was no need to air the family's personal business to the public. 

Writing Spare may have been cathartic for Prince Harry to release his personal demons, but I don't think it will fare well in the long run, what a shame. What he could have done is just put the Royal life behind him, and live the normal life that he and Meghan wanted without the public snark and money schemes that this memoir, the Netflix documentary, and subsequent media publicity has created, especially since he spouted his comtempt for the paparazzi and publicity throughout the book. I enjoyed his memory of Princess Diana, but the rest of his story is just a sad account of a man that had a hard time finding himself within his family. 

Rating: 4 Stars 

About The Author

Prince Harry, The Duke of Sussex, is a husband, father, humanitarian, military veteran, mental wellness advocate, and environmentalist. He resides in Santa Barbara, California, with his family and three dogs.

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