“The Heir and the Spare—there was no judgment about it, but also no ambiguity. I was the shadow, the support, the Plan B. I was brought into the world in case something happened to Willy. I was summoned to provide backup, distraction, diversion and, if necessary, a spare part. Kidney, perhaps. Blood transfusion. Speck of bone marrow. This was all made explicitly clear to me from the start of life’s journey and regularly reinforced thereafter.”Prince Harry, Spare
Author: Prince Harry
Genres: Non-fiction, Memoir, Royal Family, History
Pages: 410 (Hardcover)
Published: January 10th, 2023
My Rating: ★★★
Read: 2/18/2023 – 3/6/2023
I read this more out of curiosity than genuine interest. I’m quite fond of Princess Diana and I mostly wanted to hear what Harry had to say about her.
Told in a linear timeline, Prince Harry discusses the brutal reality of what it means to be part of the royal family. My heart has always gone out to him and I certainly sympathize more now that I’ve read this. What was off-putting to me was the amount of personal family matters disclosed that really didn’t need to be discussed. It’s one thing to talk about your own life in a memoir, but it doesn’t sit well for me when it turns on others, even when they have wronged you.
Overall, the book was what I expected it to be: a media grab. There isn’t a lot of depth to any of the stories aside from maybe what it was like to lose his mother in such a public and traumatic way. I found the writing melodramatic which didn’t keep me super invested. I do understand that writing about difficult moments in one’s life can be therapeutic, but that doesn’t mean it needs to be published. So while I do feel sorry for some of the things he’s had to go through, I also can’t deny this story is getting so much attention simply due to his place in the Royal Family.
Likes & Dislikes:
What I liked:
- It was interesting hearing about Princess Diana’s death openly from the perspective of one of her children.
- It didn’t get too political despite being so linked to politics.
What I didn’t like:
- A lot of slander is tossed around.
- The chapters were set mid-page which I find irksome.
- More often than not it was difficult to take the writing seriously.
A friend of mine and I were discussing the book and she summed it up well by saying, “[Harry] claims he wants healing in his family but decided to publish a book that’s only going to cause further damage.” That’s what I’m walking away with as well.