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.
Reviews with the most likes.
What a heartbreakingly beautiful book about loss, grief, love and hope. No one deserves this much trauma and devastation in one lifetime, but unfortunately Prince Harry continues to catch flack in spades for not living up to other people's ridiculous ideas of being a perfect royal. He made mistakes but he also very clearly states how he learned from them and grew as a person, which we're all allowed to do.
The intricate details of his early life and enlistment are a tough read, but they're threaded with so may beautiful moments with his family. The non-linear approach felt organic--an interaction led to a feeling which led to a memory. This book felt like he was understanding and diffusing trauma triggers with every page.
I really don't understand the hate over Prince Harry and Meghan Sussex, but I also like to think I'm not a vindictive, racist, classcist, asshat who doesn't have anything better to do than agonize over worthless tabloids. This is genuinely a well-written, evocative book that gives an inside look at a royals' lives but more importantly encourages agency, growth and change. I highly recommend the audiobook to truly hear Prince Harry's story in his own words.
What is going on in the publishing industry? I know there was a ghost writer and probably multiple editors. So how did they allow such a heavily advertised, long awaited book be so boring? I know this is purported to be Harry's story. (Though so many times while listening all I could think of was Queen Elisabeth saying some recollections will vary.) It wasn't a shock that Harry is the star/hero in Spare. But where were the charming anecdotes? The only thing this man is known for is being one of Princess Diana's sons and son of the current King of England. Grandson of the longest reigning monarch of England. Obviously, Harry has issues with his family. But to present this as if there was never any good to these relationships, not any of them? No happy recollections for balance or even to make their issues more poignant? For me this just came across as enormously whiney. Poor little ol' me locked in the attic and half starved when we know, while there are issues within that rich and privileged group, they do lead extraordinary lives with experiences the rest of us can only dream of. I did enjoy hearing about trips to countries I won't get to see but was expecting more tales about what goes on within the royal palaces and estates. Only one whiney tale about Christmas? Nothing about life as Charles and Diana's son prior to her death? Obviously, Harry was traumatized by his mother's death when he was just 12 and I guess this is what arrested development can sound like. But I was really disappointed. He cannot remember his mummy or life with her but he managed to remember and refute every tabloid headline of his life? It read as if he has kept a scrapbook!
The stories of Harry's army service were somewhat better as obviously he was engaged there and this was his profession. And it was lovely to hear him recount his happiness with Meghan and joy in fatherhood. I was horrified by the tales of how invasive the British tabloid press and paparazzi are. I can see that they were undoubtably more tenacious in chasing Princess Diana's sons and their cohorts than the children of Anne, Andrew or Edward. I can even see where Meghan's background, being a biracial divorced American actress incited them to a greater and more dangerous frenzy. But many parts of Harry's “truth” simply don't add up. He was not poor. Harry inherited a bigger share from his mother to make up for the fact that he was not the “heir.” Charles paid a very large amount of money, that he needed to report publicly, to Harry and Meghan when they decided to separate from the royal family. Meghan had considerable net worth from her own work before her retirement from acting. Harry remarks that there are estates where they could have lived safely as long as they weren't trying to live public lives. But of course, that isn't what either wants, at least not yet, is it?
Spare is full of interesting revelations of the modern-day British monarchy, ranging from their strange family dynamics to rampant racism to priviliged wealth and miscalculations. The book both humanizes and alienates all involved while revealing the difficulties Harry and Meghan have faced from the press and their families. It's interesting enough for those curious about the racism Meghan faced but still reads like a gossip magazine.
I rated this book pretty highly because I enjoyed reading all the tea he spilt but also just learning his perspective on how he grew up. I don't agree with all of his takes, of course, but it was a good glimpse into his life. As dumb as the monarchy is, the whole concept of it and their lives are still fascinating to me.