Everyone Brave Is Forgiven by Chris Cleave (5 out of 5)
I guess this is going to be this year’s “G WWII read”. The past three years, my favorite fiction books have all been set during WWII. This one is by the author of a book that came out many years ago and did tremendously well. It’s a book I was hesitant about reading because the BAM-ites were so in love with it. Not to mention Western Springs book clubs. I can’t tell you how many suburbanite moms who urged me to read it. And you know I’m a single at that time 30-something who doesn’t have kids and never will, so why would I read that? I did read Little Bee years later and kicked myself for not listening to those legions of fans…but this book? This book smokes Little Bee. And I say that being a fan of Chris Cleave! I loved this book and am glad that I’ve got a new WWII to “torture” my customers with! This book is out May 3, 2016 from the fine folks at Simon & Schuster. Thank you to my Queen Wendy for sending me a copy after I begged her (on bended knee, via email..harder than it sounds!) for one.
This book winds together the lives and destinies of three very different people in London during WWII (1939). Mary is a young socialite who attempts to shock her family by volunteering to help in the war effort. She ends up being a teacher to children who are sent away from London because of disabilities, developmental issues, and or color of skin. Tom and Alastair are best friends-until Alastair enlists. Alastair has lead a bit of a life of creative leisure and yet he’s enlisting in a war that’s everything but. Tom meets Mary in her new line of work and a spark is lit. Once Alastair enters the picture and meets Mary, the lives and the emotional tumult surrounding the three explodes. Things will never be the same when love and war come to town. This is an sweeping historical look at war, love, the divide between the elite and the working class, and heartbreak on a grander scale than anyone could appreciate if they hadn’t gone through it themselves. That’s the great thing about writers- they can go in and give us all a fantastic idea of what it may have been like at that time for anyone involved in something so tragic. Some good things come out of tragedy, like this novel. Fantastic. Go out and get a copy in May when it’s released.