Everyone Brave is Forgiven by Chris Cleave left me speechless! I think it’s an incredible novel. Loosely inspired by the author’s grandfather’s experiences while stationed in Malta with other British soldiers during World War Two, this historical fiction blew me away!
Mary North comes from a well-to-do family in London and signs-up as a volunteer during the war. As such, she is randomly assigned to teach a group of children who are being sent from London to safety in the countryside. Ill equipped for the job, Mary is quickly dismissed.
Tom meets Mary and becomes her boyfriend. He is an education administrator. His flat mate is Alastair. Prior to enlisting, he is an art restorer, working at an art museum packing artworks which are being shipped out of the city.
Two men, one girl often makes for a certain amount of predictability. Not so in this novel which contains one shock after another.
The writing is excellent. Although it is bloody at times – this is a war story after all – it is also a unique love story with well-defined characters.
I loved this novel and choose not to reveal more of the plot because I believe it needs to unfold page by page in order for the reader to become completely immersed and surprised by it. I know I couldn’t put it down! If you enjoyed All the Light We Cannot See, I think you will appreciate this novel. Highly recommended!