Genre: Historical Fiction
Length: 448 pages
Audiobook Length: 12 hours and 35 minutes
First Published: 2017
London, 1939. The day war is declared, Mary North leaves finishing school unfinished, goes straight to the War Office, and signs up. Tom Shaw decides to ignore the war—until he learns his roommate Alistair Heath has unexpectedly enlisted. Then the conflict can no longer be avoided. Young, bright, and brave, Mary is certain she’d be a marvelous spy. When she is—bewilderingly—made a teacher, she finds herself defying prejudice to protect the children her country would rather forget. Tom, meanwhile, finds that he will do anything for Mary.
And when Mary and Alistair meet, it is love, as well as war, that will test them in ways they could not have imagined, entangling three lives in violence and passion, friendship, and deception, inexorably shaping their hopes and dreams. The three are drawn into a tragic love triangle and—as war escalates and bombs begin falling—further into a grim world of survival and desperation.
Set in London during the years of 1939–1942, when citizens had slim hope of survival, much less victory; and on the strategic island of Malta, which was daily devastated by the Axis barrage, Everyone Brave is Forgiven features little-known history and a perfect wartime love story inspired by the real-life love letters between Chris Cleave’s grandparents. This dazzling novel dares us to understand that, against the great theater of world events, it is the intimate losses, the small battles, the daily human triumphs that change us most.
Quotes from Everyone Brave is forgiven
It was an air one might still breathe, if everyone forgiven was brave.
But what good is it to teach a child to count, if you don’t show him that he counts for something?
In the end I suppose we lay flowers on a grave because we cannot lay ourselves on it.
About Chris Cleave
Chris Cleave was born in London and spent his early years in Cameroon. He studied experimental psychology at Balliol College, Oxford. He lives in London with his wife and three children. Visit the author’s website →