Firstly I would like to thank the publisher for a copy of this book.
Fabulous book. I thoroughly enjoyed it. It was witty and engaging and funny and entertaining. I do love a good story set in London in the war. I must admit that I loved both Tom and Alistair when they were flatmates, but the Tom that is with Mary was kind of a sap and I didn’t enjoy him quite so much.
One issue I did have was that at the end of part one Alistair is supposedly enthralled and on his way to being in love with Mary and they are apparently being somewhat flirtatious with one another. She, apparently, being equally enthralled with him. Sadly, I failed to see that spark. Witty banter notwithstanding, there was a lack of heat and interest that failed to communicate a mutual attraction or desire to me. It felt friendly and a little flirty but that spark and intensity I would expect was missing. Even as the story progressed and right up until the end I failed to sense that spark of excitement or stirrings of love. It was more like friendliness with a dash of humour and camaraderie.
I really struggled to like Hilda and even see the point of her at all. She seemed almost like an unnecessary character at times.
I love the scenes with Alistair at training and during the war – his change in demeanour and the muting of his humour (albeit temporary) leant some weight to his character.
I was particularly fond of the comic constructs that deflect from whatever horrendous and serious episode is unfolding around them.
I would have liked to see where things went with Simonsen.
Immensely readable. Emotionally charged. Witty. Both fun and serious at the same time. There is, at times, a sense of solemnity to the tale under-toning the amusing and clever dialogue that makes ones laugh during times of conflict.
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.