Author Chris Cleave drew inspiration from his grandparent’s experiences in World War II for his new novel, Everyone Brave is Forgiven.
Mary North is an upper class Londoner who is looking for adventure when she signs up to help the war effort. She doesn’t imagine she will be assigned to the far less glamorous task of teaching. Tom and Alistair are best friends who have very different ideas of what their duty to the war should entail. Their stories intertwine as England suffers some of its darkest moments of the war.
The popular narrative of Londoners in the Blitz is that everyone was brave and kept a stiff upper lip at all times. And while people were of course brave this novel really highlights the true terror of war and the Blitz in particular. No one emerges from the war without being permanently changed.
The heartache of this book is balanced by the dry British wit that manages to find dark humor in the most serious of times.