Sydney Avey

Dynamic Woman — Changing Times

Book Review: Everyone Brave is Forgiven

Aug 1, 2017 | Book Reviews | 1 comment

Everyone Brave is ForgivenEveryone Brave is Forgiven by Chris Cleave
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Everyone Brave is Forgiven infuses the trendy topic of WWII with a deceptively facile wit that draws readers in and then wraps fingers around their vulnerabilities and squeezes. As a novelist honing her craft, I want to be Chris Cleave when I grow up! Not only did I feel every emotion, I yearned for someone to open that jam jar Alistair carried through the war so I could have a taste.

Cleave takes us to the heights of expressive language in his rich descriptions of Londoners trying to survive the war on foreign shores and in London streets. He pulls us into the depths of human souls facing daily horrors. He does so with love and respect for each character in all their missteps and moments of blazing courage.

The London bombing

Before I read this book, I was aware of the London bombing as an event. That the bombs fell every day for fifty-seven days, I was unaware. Cleave brings home the trauma and exhaustion of living with dying. In the process, he highlights the human spirit’s hope and resilience. This is one of the most redemptive books I have ever read. The story resolves in a brilliant, final sentence that took my breath away.

I read a hardback copy our small town public library ordered at my request. I often found myself going back over the descriptions to enjoy clever pairings of words and precise language used to good effect. If the author converses as well as he writes he would be a hoot to know.

In today’s entertainment, the biggest decision characters often face is how powerful a weapon to use. In the 1940s, society still operated from a moral and ethical core that made decisions more complex. That makes for deeply engaging reading.

View all my reviews

1 Comment

  1. Marie Sontag

    Great review! It makes me want to read the book!


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