Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Other Sellers on Amazon
+ $3.99 shipping
+ $3.99 shipping
+ Free Shipping
Everyone Brave is Forgiven Hardcover – May 3, 2016
Frequently bought together
Customers who bought this item also bought
An Amazon Best Book of May 2016: We’ve been wondering lately: What is the secret sauce that makes novels like Anthony Doerr’s All the Light We Cannot See and Kristin Hannah’s The Nightingale so popular, stories set against the backdrop of WWII? Whatever it is, it made me approach Chris Cleave’s Everyone Brave is Forgiven with a particularly wary eye. Sure, it’s got all of the ingredients—heroes and heroines who are flawed yet admirable. Check! A love story that manages to be poignant without being precious. Check! It even has cover art that is, as an astute colleague put it, a little cartoonish but appealingly “Disney-London.” If you’re a terrible cook like me, however, you know that you can have all of the right ingredients and still concoct something utterly inedible. But this couldn’t be farther from the case with ‘Brave,’ which was inspired by love letters that Cleave unearthed from his grandparents. The non-love story aspects of this novel are just as compelling, and add a layer of gravitas to a story that could easily slip into “sudsy” territory. These parts provide a chilling reminder that it wasn’t just the Jews who were marginalized and punished during WWII, but black children, poor children, and the otherwise “different” or disenfranchised. Moreover, through the character of Mary North, ‘Brave’ emphasizes the importance of challenging injustices. This timeless message is another key ingredient in what is sure to be another beloved (WWII) novel. --Erin Kodicek
PRAISE FOR EVERYONE BRAVE IS FORGIVEN
“Cleave’s foray into historical fiction is both grand and intimate. The novel’s ability to stay small and quiet against the raging tableau of war is what also makes it glorious….an absorbing account of survival, racism, classism, love and pain, and the scars left by all of them…Cleave’s prose is imbued with a Dickensian flair, deploying brilliant metaphors and crackling dialogue.”
—New York Times Book Review, Editor's Pick
“With dazzling prose, sharp English wit, and compassion, Cleave paints a powerful portrait of war's effects on those who fight and those left behind.”
—People Magazine Book of the Week
“[An] intimate war epic…Cleave unflinchingly exposes the personal hang-ups of his characters as they grapple with hard life choices. He harnesses his immense talent for crafting gorgeously insightful turns of phrase to show us how courage and cowardice sometimes exist side-by-side in the same person — even in the same decision…both searing and timeless.”
"The London Blitz is cinematically re-imagined in a deeply moving new novel from Chris Cleave. As he did in Little Bee, he places forthright characters in impossible situations in Everyone Brave Is Forgiven,a story set during World War II."
—Carol Memmott, Minneapolis Star-Tribune
“Magnificent and profoundly moving… This dazzling novel of World War II is full of unforgettable characters and the keen emotional insights that moved readers of Chris Cleave's Little Bee.”
“Among all the recent fictions about the war, Cleave's miniseries of a novel is a surprising standout, with irresistibly engaging characters who sharply illuminate issues of class, race, and wartime morality.”
“Real, engaging characters, based loosely on Cleave’s own grandparents, come alive on the page. Insightful, stark, and heartbreaking, Cleave’s latest novel portrays the irrepressible hopefulness that can arise in the face of catastrophe.”
—Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“Intensely felt…Full of insight and memorably original phrasings, the story is leavened by sardonic humor… Cleave paints an emotion-filled portrait of a damaged city with its inequities amplified by war and of courageous individuals whose connections to one another make them stronger.”
“Wonderful…Everyone Brave is Forgiven asks hard questions with no easy answers, reminding us of the price we pay every day just for being human.”
PRAISE FOR CHRIS CLEAVE
Praise for Gold
“Cleave has the extremely rare power of making you smile with lively language and clever observations while he is thoroughly, irreparably breaking your heart.”
—New York Newsday
“Cleave is an acutely intelligent wordsmith. Some of the sentences cut so deep you want to scream out in pain and recognition...This is an inspirational and moving novel in so many ways, and everyone should read it.”
—The Times (UK)
Praise for Little Bee
"Little Bee will blow you away....In restrained, diamond-hard prose, Cleave alternates between these two characters' points of view as he pulls the threads of their dark -- but often funny -- story tight. What unfolds between them...is both surprising and inevitable, thoroughly satisfying if also heart-rending."
“Immensely readable and moving…an affecting story of human triumph.”
—The New York Times Book Review
Praise for Incendiary
"A mesmerizing tour de force: ragged, breathless, full of raw emotion, the blackest of humor and relentless action."
—The Washington Post Book World
"Brilliant...This is a haunting work of art."
If you are a seller for this product, would you like to suggest updates through seller support?
Top Customer Reviews
* * *
“Mary leaned back, exhaled, and watched her smoke rise. 'What sort of man do you want anyway?'
"Tall. Funny. Never came top of his class or pulled the wings off bees."
"Yes, but I mean really? When all of this is over, and assuming we win -" ...
Hilda snorted. "(I) just want a tall man and a stiff drink. You could even swap the adjectives.”
This WWII novel is set in London and battle areas, principally Malta (where a grandfather of author Cleave fought). Its five principal characters are Mary, an attractive, broad-minded 18 year old from a wealthy family who volunteers immediately upon war being declared, her close but less prepossessing friend Hilda, who helps Mary but gets annoyed that men always gravitate toward her, teaching administrator Tom who finds a class for Mary to teach, Tom's friend Alistair, an art restorer at the Tate who joins the war as an officer, and Zachary, a young black student of Mary's whom she helps amid the era's racism.
It's an exceptionally well-told story that, among other things, depicts the bombing's effects on the city and its populace vividly and better than any other book I've read on the subject. All the characters go through harrowing experiences of one kind or another. I found the use of the n-word and the racism difficult, but Cleave is making a legitimate point about the state of affairs at the time, and Mary will have none of it, thank goodness. I couldn't stop turning the pages, and the dialogue in particular is top of the line - smart, often surprising, and at times laugh-out-loud witty.
And life toddles along nicely for her at first. She gets a job and likes the job. She even gets a man and likes the man. But things start going badly soon after. To put it succinctly, Everyone Brave Is Forgiven, at its core, is a love story, but oh dear Lord, there will be a lot of suffering for that happy ending. Prepare yourself.
Ironically, while I ended up enjoying this book, it took me a long 50 pages to really get into it. Initially, I found myself putting the book down about every four pages because it irritated me so very much. Mary's exhausting (borderline unrealistic) optimism coupled with author Cleave's "Look what I can do!" verbosity was just too much. There's a fine line between being descriptive and being a wordsmith show-off. Cleave can paint a pretty word picture, but sometimes it distracts from the real story. There were moments when I really wanted Cleave to descend from his Word Throne and just talk to me like a commoner already. Ugh.
But after that 50-page mark, something changed for me. It might have been that I grew accustomed to Cleave's writing style, or maybe it was that Mary and Alistair finally meet and experience the CONNECTION they aren't supposed to, but, suddenly things start getting good. The story picks up and digs in. The characters come to life. They're funny! And the back-and-forth between them is witty and truly entertaining. I found myself relating to these people finally, empathizing with and understanding them. I genuinely started to care. And the rest of the book is so darn good.
The beginning of the story may have been a chore to get through, but, wow, I ended up LOVING this story. The complexity, the depth, the sadness, and--dare I say?--even the writing, all combined to create a beautiful novel. I'm so glad I pushed past those first few pages, because Everyone Brave Is Forgiven is an absolute gem.
This is the story of Mary, a young woman of wealthy parents. She wants to contribute to the war effort, but is assigned to be a teacher. Tom and Alistair are friends and garret mates. Alistair enlists in the military and Tom stays behind to work his job at the Education Authority. Tom and Mary meet and fall in love. Alistair comes home on leave and Mary sets him up with her friend Hilda. But Mary and Alistair fall immediately in love. They do nothing about it out of respect for their friends. Alistair ships out again. Mary struggles to teach the few children who were not chosen by families in the country. In other words, her classroom is filled with physically and mentally disabled children and one African American child with dyslexia. Horrible things happen and then Mary and HIlda volunteer as ambulance driver and as nurse respectively. More horrible things happen. Alistair is stationed in Malta and even more horrible things happen. There is a hopeful but not necessarily happy ending.
I have read many books about WWII and I appreciate anything that adds to my knowledge. What I appreciate from this book is the look at the unrelenting bombing of London and also the horrible conditions in Malta. I do not typically care for battle scenes, but Mr. Cleave makes it interesting and describes the boredom and deprivation well. I also appreciate the different perspective on the evacuation of children from London, particularly those who are not chosen. I learned about prejudice during that time period, something I am ashamed to say I had not really considered. The writing is quite good. I enjoyed the British brand of snark and sarcasm. The dialogue is snappy and funny. No spoilers, but a lot of horrible things happen in this novel. I appreciate an author who is not afraid to kill or maim your favorite characters. No one leaves this war unscathed in some way. I can easily imagine this book as a movie--there were plenty of nail biting parts and tears. I would highly recommend this book!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I recommend both. Chris Cleave has created a masterful tribute to his grandparents.Read more