Book Review

Book Review: Spare by Prince Harry

Rating: ★★★
Audience: Memoir
Length: 410 pages
Author: Prince Harry
Publisher: Random House
Release Date: January 10th, 2022
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads


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.


I’m not sure I have anything to say past what has already been said at this point but I’ll throw some of my thoughts out.

What is the most upsetting is that a young boy lost his Mother and NOBODY did anything to truly help him grieve and work through that and that’s why everything eventually fell apart. I ache for him in that context.

Ghost writer wise, I am uuuupset that at such a wasted opportunity to create a great novel. Instead it was like Harry said here’s what happened and the writer put EVERY LAST TINY DETAIL THAT DIDN’T NEED TO BE THERE into these short choppy chapters that read poorly. 60% of this could have been taken out and it would have felt much more compelling.

The last bit with Meghan and afterwards is nothing that hasn’t been said a hundred times over in multiple interviews and documentaries. We’ve heard the story. Again and again and again.

I also think he through his family under the bus way too many times. I’m not saying they didn’t do wrong as well, but there’s a side to every story and if you were hoping for true reconciliation then maybe should have thought about that before sharing some of this.

I’m not necessarily upset I read it, I just don’t think it truly added anything I didn’t already know.

Overall audience notes:

  • Memoir
  • Language: a little
  • Violence: low
  • Trigger/Content Warnings: grief, anxiety and depression depiction, loss of a Mother, brief physical altercations, drugs and alcohol use, suicide ideation, stalking

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