the next good book

Everyone Brave Is Forgiven

By Chris Cleave


418 pages

What’s it about?
It is London, 1939 and Mary North wants to do her part when war is declared.  She goes straight to the War Office and signs up.  Meanwhile, Tom Shaw is classified as too important to the education department to be sent into battle, and simultaneously his best friend Alistair volunteers and is shipped off to war.  Mary, Tom, and Alistair’s lives become intertwined as the blitz of London begins and the war drags on.

What did it make me think about?
It always amazes me the how much I learn from historical fiction.  Although the blitz of London is very well known, this account certainly put a face to the suffering.  I was not aware that some children were left behind to face the blitz.  The blockading of Malta was also new to me.

Should you read it?
Well this is the second book in a row that others liked more than I did.  Chris Cleave is a beautiful writer- but to me this novel was glib, meandering, and somehow missed the mark.  If you love anything World War II then pick it up- otherwise there are better books to be read!

“Mary took her arm.   ‘And we need to find you a nice soldier, do we?’
‘An airman would do in a pinch.  I draw the line at navy blue.’
‘Nice girls do.  I shall keep a lookout for you.  Of course it is quite ridiculous in any case.  There is no actual fighting is there?’
‘God no’,  said Hilda.  ‘They’re nice in uniform, not battle dress.’”

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