I love audiobooks. For the longest time, I had a hard time listening to them and would get distracted. Not sure exactly what happened, but one day, something just clicked. I now always have an audiobook in my reading rotation.
The latest book I listened to was Prince Harry’s memoir Spare. In case you don’t know, the title comes from the term used by royal families. The heir (the child who will inherit a title) and the spare (the child who would replace the heir if anything happens to them).
Can you imagine being referred to as a “spare?” Some synonyms for spare include: unused, backup, leftover, option, superfluous. My god! To publicly be known, and told, that you are a “spare,” is some f*ckery I just don’t have any words for. In this family, William is the heir, and Harry is the spare.
Spare is Prince Harry’s memoir in which he tells his story, in his own words, unapologetically. The book is divided into three parts: his childhood and losing his mother, his service in the British Army, and his love story with Meghan.
The first section of the book about his childhood and mother was heartbreaking in so many ways. Even though I had watched Princess Diana and the Royal Family from afar, and thought I knew some things, I did not. Like the Real World used to say, “you think you know, but you have no idea.” Young Harry struggled, and I felt for him as he recounts: his years of denial that his mother actually died, feeling unprotected, and struggles with school, anger, and loneliness.
The second section gives you an inside look into his service in the British Army. For people who are interested in learning more about the insides of the military, you will really enjoy hearing his experience. It is just horrifying to know that this man went from being the target of the paparazzi, to being the target of the Taliban, and many times at the same time.
The third section about his love story with Meghan is both inspiring and appalling. The things they went through for the unspeakable sin of loving each other was just too much.
The overarching theme throughout this book is Harry’s understandable contempt for the press. Imagine knowing who killed your mother and being forced to cooperate with them. By members of your family. The things that he and Meghan have endured are beyond anything I could ever imagine. The fact that they seemingly have escaped, and are able to cultivate a loving and supportive life for themselves is incredible. I am beyond happy for them and their little family.
According to publisher Penguin Random House, Spare sold 1.4 million copies on the first day alone. That includes audiobooks. Spare is narrated by Prince Harry himself and has been Audible’s top-selling audio book for 14 weeks since it was released. It also has almost 10,000 five-star reviews. It’s not short with a listening length of 15 hours and 39 minutes. It took me about a month to listen to because I usually listen to books while I’m in the car. It would also be great for your daily walks, road trips, workouts, or while cleaning your house.
Prince Harry did an incredible job narrating the book, and as someone who has listened to many memoirs, his was definitely one of the best. If you are interested in the book, have access, and are able, I would recommend listening to him tell his story in his own words. Spare by Prince Harry was definitely five stars for me!
Here are some other memoirs, read by the author, that I loved.