Everyone Brave Is Forgiven (Paperback)

Staff Pick Logo
Everyone Brave Is Forgiven Cover Image
$16.00
Usually Ships in 1-5 Days

Staff Reviews


Chris Cleave asks more of us. Everyone Brave is Forgiven is a novel inspired by his grandparents' history in WWII. It is a familiar story, but entirely unique. It was the greatest generation, undeniably heroic. But to deny their daily struggles, and their sins small and large, is to dehumanize them, to distance them from our own potential for greatness. The racism he portrays is atrocious. War exacerbates our tendencies. It pares our priorities to primary needs: food, safety, human connection. We must be brave in peacetime as well. We must remember the lessons of war, of what we should be fighting for, and honor its sacrifices. Think of what we are capable. Cleave's writing is smart and beautiful, but never overwrought. In an author's note, he uses a metaphor for writing the novel, one story in a giant war. Like the soldiers he portrays digging in the shallow dirt at Malta to plant seeds, he can just dig a small hole. I'd extend the metaphor to say that not only did his seeds take root, but that he hit bedrock, and his tale echoes with the widening resonance of its greater truths.

— Sara, Atlanta

At some point, one would think that every possible story, angle, battle, relationship that arose from WW2 has been told. What more could there be? The sad truth is that as long as there is the possibility of going to war again, we need to remember what happened in previous wars – the loss, the pain, the privations, the toll paid by individuals and nations. Chris Cleave beautifully reminds us and indeed teaches us about engaging characters and heart-wrenching situations. Everyone Brave is Forgiven follows young, eager and privileged Mary, anxious to do her part as soon as Britain declares war. Tom and Alistair are flatmates; one enlists and the other continues to work in London and they both love Mary. Though she sees herself as a spy or as an attache to a general, Mary finds herself teaching school. Her commitment and bravery in London during the Blitz are matched by that of the soldiers stationed on Malta. The letters that pass between the two fronts both illuminate and obfuscate the reality of both situations. The story moves quickly and the dialogue is reminiscent of Evelyn Waugh and Oscar Wilde – brisk, smart, world-weary, and totally entrancing.

— Sydne, Atlanta

Description


The instant New York Times bestseller from Chris Cleave--the unforgettable novel about three lives entangled during World War II, told "with dazzling prose, sharp English wit, and compassion...a powerful portrait of war's effects on those who fight and those left behind" (People, Book of the Week).

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.

About the Author


CHRIS CLEAVE is a columnist for "The Guardian" in London. His first novel, "Incendiary," was published in 20 countries, won the 2006 Somerset Maugham Award and was shortlisted for the 2006 Commonwealth Writers' Prize. His second novel, "Little Bee," was a "New York Times" bestseller and was shortlisted for the Costa Award and the Commonwealth Writers' Prize. In Canada, it was a national bestseller, and a reader and book club favourite. His third novel, "Gold," was also a bestseller and received wide critical acclaim. Chris Cleave lives in London with his French wife and three mischievous Anglo-French children. The author lives in London, UK.
Product Details
ISBN: 9781501124389
ISBN-10: 1501124382
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Publication Date: March 7th, 2017
Pages: 448
Language: English