What I’m Reading: Everyone Brave is Forgiven

I just finished up the audio book Everyone Brave is Forgiven  by Chris Cleave.  I’ve read another book by this author, Little Bee: A Novel, and I loved it (if you missed that review, it’s here).  When I saw this new title by him, I was quick to grab it.  It’s always interesting reading a second book by an author.  Some authors are hit and miss.  Being I loved the first book so much I didn’t know if I’d like this one.


but…I did end up liking it.

It’s set in WWII England.  What I liked most about the book is that is was an honest rendering.  Often times was is painted as romantic.  This was not.  There are several characters in the book and the story is told by each of them.  Everyone has their reasons for their participation and all are changed for life because of their choices.

Here’s what Amazon had to say, “London, 1939.  The day war is declared, Mary North leaves finishing school unfinished, goes straight to the War Office, and signs up.

Tom Shaw decides to ignore the war—until he learns his roommate Alistair Heath has unexpectedly enlisted. Then the conflict can no longer be avoided.

Young, bright, and brave, Mary is certain she’d be a marvelous spy. When she is—bewilderingly—made a teacher, she finds herself defying prejudice to protect the children her country would rather forget.

Tom, meanwhile, finds that he will do anything for Mary.

And when Mary and Alistair meet, it is love, as well as war, that will test them in ways they could not have imagined, entangling three lives in violence and passion, friendship and deception, inexorably shaping their hopes and dreams.

Set in London during the years of 1939–1942, when citizens had slim hope of survival, much less victory; and on the strategic island of Malta, which was daily devastated by the Axis barrage, Everyone Brave is Forgiven features little-known history and a perfect wartime love story inspired by the real-life love letters between Chris Cleave’s grandparents. This dazzling novel dares us to understand that, against the great theater of world events, it is the intimate losses, the small battles, the daily human triumphs that change us most.

Amazon readers gave the book 4.1 stars.  I’d do better than that as I prefer raw and honest over fluffy and romantic reading.  I’d give the book 4.3 stars.  I’ll continue to look for Chris Cleave books.

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