Everyone Brave Is Forgiven

Everyone Brave Is Forgiven

Large Print - 2016
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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
Publisher: Waterville, Maine : Thorndike, a part of Gale Cengage Learning, 2016
Edition: Large print edition
Copyright Date: 2016
ISBN: 9781410489784
1410489787
Characteristics: large print
667 pages (large print) ; 23 cm

Opinion

From Library Staff

Volunteering for the war effort in
1939 London, a socialite teaches
evacuated children before her
romance is challenged by a love
triangle and the realities of the war.

Yet another World War II story in the recent lineup, done very well. Particularly powerful is the descriptive voice, the reader feels very much there, in London during the bombings in the rubble. Rebellious Mary North, from a privileged family, wants to help the war effort and struggles to find h... Read More »


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b
becker
Aug 27, 2017

There is no end to the amount of World War II fiction that is available and I have read a lot of it. Yet each book seems to offer a different perspective or experience of the same story and I never seem to grow tired of it. Everyone Brave is Forgiven takes the chaos of the war and then zooms the story down to 4 individual lives. 4 friends who all have their own unique personal journey through the war but who connect in ways that I found very touching. It demonstrates the impact of war not only on the personal level but also on the person's role in society. Where do we fit? Where do we belong, and how does the war change all the rules?

w
wyenotgo
Jul 05, 2017

I know I'm at odds with most reviewers but Cleave's terribly clever British repartee is infuriatingly phony, like fingernails screeching on a blackboard. Were there ever living people who talked that way? If so, I'm happy not to have met them! And then there are sentences such as: "She supposed that nature had no provision for conkers beyond the earnest expectation that boys in knee shorts would always come, world without end, to take them home and dangle them on shoe laces and invest each one with brash and improbable hope." Pardon me, but what in God's holy name does that mean?
As for the characters: A quartet of prigs.
Yes, the book has garnered positive reviews; Its merit begins to emerge 80+ pages in. But the style, the language, the characters, none of it appeals to me and the annoying aspects overwhelmed it.

m
MindfulDaydreamer
Jan 10, 2017

Engaging, witty, and beautifully written.

athompson10 Jan 08, 2017

Reminds me a LOT of "All the Light We Cannot See." Lyrical writing, changing narrators, and a compelling story moving between wartime London and the island of Malta, both under siege by the Luftwaffe.

brianreynolds Dec 20, 2016

Chris Cleave’s Everyone Brave seems to want to be about the horror of war and the bravery of upper class English families during the early months of the London Blitz and the siege of Malta. What it doesn’t seem to be about is either the wrongness of war or the evil of Fascism or the belated involvement of the USA. Instead the author pokes once again at racism and class while constructing a bleak but absorbing archetypal comedy. While the outcome of the romance between the two fairly naive but adorable characters is seriously predictable from the start, the obstacles to be overcome are quite rightly so serious that in the end... Well, there’s no point in giving everything away, is there? It’s well-constructed, well-written (lovely in places) and well-meant. The blight of early 1940’s discrimination deserves a spotlight. Personally, however, that seemed ironic. My American father quite proudly credited that war with changing his views on race 180 degrees—for the better. But that’s an entirely different book.

a
axeman
Nov 03, 2016

Four friends in wartime England. Issues of race and class are addressed but this book has a very witty side. Lots of wise cracking dialogue among the friends as well as the solid writing made this a really engaging book.

c
crazycatlibrarian
Sep 22, 2016

Yet another World War II story in the recent lineup, done very well. Particularly powerful is the descriptive voice, the reader feels very much there, in London during the bombings in the rubble. Rebellious Mary North, from a privileged family, wants to help the war effort and struggles to find her place as a teacher, an ambulance driver, as a lover, and a survivor. Not predictable, deeply engaging.

h
harrissusanc
Sep 13, 2016

This is my new favorite war novel. It's take your breath away beautiful, with imagery, dialogue and depth of character and place, told by an old, often omniscient, narrator.

b
brangwinn
Sep 08, 2016

World War II has been the setting for two of my favorite books. All the Light We Cannot See (Doerr) and The Nightingale (Hannah). And now here comes another one, this time set in wartime London. When Mary leaves finishing school, she finds out her volunteer assignment, that of a school teacher in London and this leads to love with two men from less wealthy backgrounds. To me the basis of this story, the love letters of the author’s grandparents, makes this story into real historical fiction.

LoganLib_Adults Aug 30, 2016

Chris will be speaking at Logan North Library on Saturday 10th September 2016

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