Author: Chris Cleave
Published by: Simon & Schuster on May 3, 2016
Genres: Historical Fiction
Book Rating: 10/10
From the author of the #1 New York Times bestselling Little Bee, a spellbinding novel about three unforgettable individuals thrown together by war, love, and their search for belonging in the ever-changing landscape of WWII London.
It’s 1939 and Mary, a young socialite, is determined to shock her blueblood political family by volunteering for the war effort. She is assigned as a teacher to children who were evacuated from London and have been rejected by the countryside because they are infirm, mentally disabled, or—like Mary’s favorite student, Zachary—have colored skin.
Tom, an education administrator, is distraught when his best friend, Alastair, enlists. Alastair, an art restorer, has always seemed far removed from the violent life to which he has now condemned himself. But Tom finds distraction in Mary, first as her employer and then as their relationship quickly develops in the emotionally charged times. When Mary meets Alastair, the three are drawn into a tragic love triangle and—while war escalates and bombs begin falling around them—further into a new world unlike any they’ve ever known.
A sweeping epic with the kind of unforgettable characters, cultural insights, and indelible scenes that made Little Bee so incredible, Chris Cleave’s latest novel explores the disenfranchised, the bereaved, the elite, the embattled. Everyone Brave Is Forgiven is a heartbreakingly beautiful story of love, loss, and incredible courage.
This is a remarkable story that is incredibly insightful, and deeply moving.
The story is set in wartime London, and is told from two perspectives. Mary, a young woman of privilege and class, who decides to help and continues to help with war efforts, even when it seems like she is battling societal ideologies as much as the enemy itself. And Alastair, an art restorer turned officer, who continues to fight for his country, even when all seems bleak and his resilience, strength, and memories of home are all that keep him moving forward.
This is story about war, loss, injustice, love, courage, and survival.
The writing is precise and poetic. The characters are sympathetic, valiant and real. The descriptive prose is stunning. And the dry wit of the dialogue keeps the story buoyant, above the darkness, and allows you to be impacted but not sunk.
Perhaps Kipling’s iconic words say it best, “lest we forget.”
This story will resonate with you long after the final page has been turned. And I have a feeling it won’t be long before it is on book club lists everywhere.
This novel is available now.
Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from the following Amazon links.
For more information on Chris Cleave, visit his website at: chriscleave.com
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