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  • Writer's pictureAmanda

Book Review: Spare

I should start this off by acknowledging that I went into this book with a bias. It seems that Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are polarizing: people either love or hate them, and I will say from the start that I am team Harry + Meghan. So, when I learned that Prince Harry had his own book coming out, I refreshed my local library's catalogue until it appeared and I could place a hold. I was the 11th spot, which would mean as soon as the library received their copies, I was getting one of them. Yay!

Spare was released the week before the library received it's copies, and so, the opinions came before I could even open it. "He talks about his penis", "There are some really cringey lines", "he just comes across as so entitled".

I had a lot of reactions as I read, but none of these were one of them. Again, biased, but I honestly think the passages chosen were taken completely out of context. What is a small detail of a much larger story, was blown up and it's meaning was changed on tiktok and headlines. I also did not get a sense of entitlement in the slightest. Instead, I read about someone who was born into an institution, haunted by his mother's death, and wanted to feel free. I thought to myself many times as I read, that the people complaining about the book were proving his point. He had to tell his story in his own words because otherwise everyone told his story for him, and that story was usually false.

Are there parts of the book that the monarchy would scoff at? Of course there are. Prince Harry presents himself as a regular guy who got dirty as a kid, made mistakes in his teens, and grew into a protective spouse and father as the years went on. But all of his stories support his argument that the British press is a giant machine which profits off of destroying the lives around him, and that the palace helps to feed the machine.

I was given a week to read this 400 page memoir, and I finished well before my time was up; even with two kids, I couldn't put it down. He speaks about his two tours in Afghanistan (which I personally found to be the most fascinating part of the book), the aftermath of losing his mother at such a young age, his extensive work in Africa (also really interesting!), his dating life, his close relationship with the Queen, his early days with Meghan Markle (loved!), and the rocky relationship with his father and brother.

There was some "he said, she said" in the last 100 pages when Harry spoke about his family, which made me cringe a little bit, only because of how public this is, but from his point of view, Harry needed to correct the narrative. He says about the famous interview with Oprah Winfrey "Being silent wasn't working. It was only making it worse. We felt we had no choice." Spare, page 397

I have read other memoirs this year that made me dislike the person, and I wished I never read them. This is not one of those. Whether you like or dislike Harry + Meghan, I suggest you give Spare a read and see if it changes your views at all.

Have you read it?! What did you think?!

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