Friday, April 29, 2016

Early Review: Everyone Brave Is Forgiven by Chris Cleave

Title: Everyone Brave Is Forgiven 
Author: Chris Cleave 
Publisher: Simon & Schuster 
Source: Publisher 
Expected Publication Date: May 3rd, 2016 
Pre-order: Amazon  |  B&N 

Summary: 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, Alistair, enlists. Alistair, 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 Alistair, 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. 

Photobucket



When war is officially declared, Mary North signs up a mere 45 minutes later, much to the dismay of her socially upstanding and affluent family.  Eighteen years old, feisty, and bright, Mary’s visions of becoming a spy or liaison are shattered when she is instead appointed schoolmistress to a primary class.  But when the school is evacuated to the countryside and Mary is relieved of her position, she realizes just how much she enjoyed teaching.  Tom Shaw can hardly believe that his friend and flatmate Alistair Heath has joined the war.  Alistair is an art restorer, not a soldier.  Though saddened to see his friend leave, Tom becomes quite smitten with teacher Mary North and arranges for her to teach the children that weren’t evacuated... the children no one else wanted.

Mary and Hilda, Tom and Alistair, and especially sweet Zachary are absolutely enchanting. Friendship, romance, and a forbidden attraction bloom in the darkest times. The characters are so clever, and their exchanges are at times humorous and at others heart-wrenching.  Their letters are among my favorite moments of the story.  I came to care deeply for each one as their lives intertwined during the many horrors of World War II.  Taking place between 1939 and 1942 with both London and Malta as backdrops, Everyone Brave Is Forgiven captivated me, frightened me, and ultimately made me fall in love.

With writing that is both brilliant and engaging, the author paints a story that is heartbreaking, yes, but also eye-opening.  War is a very difficult thing to read about, but I’m so glad I read this.  It’s remarkable when a book you read has the power to change you.  This story puts things in great perspective and is one I will not forget.  The author draws from the inspiration of his own grandparents, and he shows us that bravery is not just for those who are fighting a war. My first book by Chris Cleave but certainly not my last. 

A huge thank-you to the publisher for sending this book in exchange for my honest review. 
  
© at A Belle's Tales

  

14 comments:

  1. Wow, it made a real impact on you. Sounds moving!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Indeed! Very moving and wonderfully written.

      Delete
  2. I know you loved this one and that it stuck with you. It sounds like such a good read. Great review Wifey!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Teresa! I can't stop thinking about it :)

      Delete
  3. Anonymous4/29/2016

    ok I'm gonna have to go order this one right now! Sounds really poignant.Awesome review :) -Jamie

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ahhhh! That makes me so happy! I'd love to hear your thoughts on it. Thank you, Jamie!

      Delete
  4. This is not the kind of book I would usually pick up, but you have me excited to read this one, Michele!! It sounds heart-breaking but beautiful. Beautiful review!

    Miki xx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Definitely give this one a chance -- you won't be disappointed. Thank you, Miki!

      Delete
  5. I love how clever the characters sound and yes bring on the banter wrapped in darkness!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's such a moving story, Kimba!

      Delete
  6. Thanks for sharing! This sounds like a really beautiful novel. I love stories set during WWII. It's such an interesting time period and there are so many stories to tell!

    -Lauren
    www.shootingstarsmag.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You would definitely like this then, Lauren! It's beautiful and the characters are so endearing. :)

      Delete

Thank you for stopping by our blog! We don't participate in blog tags, and this is an award-free blog; but we do love making new bookish friends. Happy Reading!