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Spare Hardcover – 10 January 2023
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"Compellingly artful . . . [a] blockbuster memoir."--The New Yorker
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.
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- Get S$10 with Citi-MC. Enter code CITIMCAJUN at checkout. Discount Provided by Amazon. Here's how (terms and conditions apply)
"Compellingly artful . . . [a] blockbuster memoir."--The New Yorker
"A scorching account of life in a golden cage."--The Atlantic
About the Author
- Language : English
- Hardcover : 416 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0593593804
- ISBN-13 : 978-0593593806
- Best Sellers Rank: 524 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- 6 in History of Europe
- 27 in Biographies & Memoirs
- 49 in Humour & Entertainment
- Customer reviews:
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Top reviews from Singapore
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How would a member of the Royal family write a memoir – will it be him or a ghost-writer, and what is the writing style of a Prince? That was my first enquiry. The book is well-written, with a straightforward, account as a memoir should be. Its literary style is also of a high standard. It begins with a short, punchy sentence: ‘There were always stories’. HRHH waste no time thereafter reminiscing his childhood. ‘To me Balmoral was always simply Paradise. A cross between Disney World and some sacred Druid grove. I was too busy fishing, shooting, running up and down “the hill” to notice anything off about the feng shui of the old castle. What I’m trying to say is, I was happy there’.
This book is an example of Tolstoy’s oft-quoted observation, ‘All happy families are alike. Unhappy families are unhappy in their own way.’ HRHH is a miserable man. He expresses how his life came to be thus. But he also has moments of happiness – most of which inevitably involve either his mother, Princess Diana, or his wife, Meghan. He does not just tell us how happy he was and is with them, but he reveals incidents in which the tenderness of love is felt. The book is replete with them.
Its many revealing parts will, no doubt, invoke extreme reactions from the pro and anti Harry camps. As a neutral, I find accounts and stories such as the time Meghan taught HRHH how to cook their favourite dish – roast chicken – enlightening; that HRHH in his own world, away from the family, is very much an ordinary human being, no different from his fans and detractors, I dare say.
And so, on that note, we do find some irony in the book. We find his constant and vehement dislike for the press for what they did to his mother, wife, and himself, for the extreme invasion of privacy. and yet he courts them for the same publicity he eschews. He probably upsets his family by divulging personal history, but also complains that they dig up dirt from Meghan’s side. This book can make us gain more insight into ourselves if we read it with detachment and self-reflection.
I’m anticipating a second book, and can’t wait for the rest of the story to be unveiled!
Top reviews from other countries
While many reviewers criticize Harry for speaking out, for telling untruths, for telling too much truth and oversharing, for not appreciating his privilege etc etc etc, my sense is that, in this book, he has done his best to tell his own truth. Each one of us experiences only our own lived life, and what I’ve read resonates as authentic, humanly flawed, painful, and as honest as he could possibly be seeing through that “glass darkly.” It doesn’t matter what anyone thinks of Harry’s story; it matters that it is what he experienced and remembers. When you scream into the void and nothing echoes back long enough, and you have a way to be heard and have the privilege of a platform to make your side known and defend and protect those you love, why not use it? Why wouldn’t he? We all know that two people can have the same conversation and come away with two completely different understandings of what was said and agreed upon. However, I suspect in this case, Harry’s perception of being deliberately placated, misunderstood, and ignored is both his truth and many times true, even as I also suspect that others in his life see it differently, through their own lenses. And that’s the way life goes.
Harry has one of the best-known and least-known lives in the world. I suspect that some of what he decided to share in his memoir comes from a place of pain for himself, but much more so for his mother and his wife, two women he clearly loves more than anything in this world. He reveals fascinating and salacious details about being born to such privilege, going to exclusive schools, military service, dating in a fishbowl, traveling to places most of us only dream about—Africa! The North Pole! Antarctica! And more. Behind those details is a human being with a lot of self-doubt and a very big heart. Yes, this is a privileged person. Yes, this is someone who wants to help others in this world and goes out of his way to use that privilege to do so and does his best to navigate white privilege by listening to those who need the help and helping in a way that serves them and not his image. Yes, he makes mistakes, but no more or less than any other human being trying to cope in a world full of myriad different wants, needs, cultures, expectations, socio-economic circumstances, and freedoms.
My favorite part of the memoir is of course Harry and Meghan’s romance. This is a genuine love match, and one hard fought for, between two good-hearted human beings. At their core, they are kind and hopeful and have already done much good for this world. Love beams out of Harry's descriptions of their relationship, as it does on screen when they’re together, defending each other and fiercely protecting their children, working to help others, navigating whitewater rapids that might drown them at any time, and yet somehow they surface and forge on. People have a lot to say about Harry and Meghan, and by publishing his memoir, Harry has attempted to take back his own narrative and, in a way, said, people, you can believe what the tabloids print, or you can believe my story from my own mouth. Up to you. I hope the world believes the source and not the shadows.
The story left me both saddened and uplifted. Saddened at the power of public opinion and the tabloid media to remain unaccountable. Uplifted at having this glimpse into lives that are not mine to know but have been shared anyway. Saddened that Harry felt driven to expose himself this way. Uplifted at the beauty in the storytelling and glimpses into parts of the world I may never see and the lives of intriguing people previously known only by hearsay. And hopeful that Harry and Meghan can find their own personal peace and carry on doing good works and raising their children, and that Diana’s legacy of working for peace and those hurting in this world will be carried on by her youngest son and his family.