Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Novels with Nell - Everyone Brave is Forgiven

While I'm excited for Spring Break for a number of reasons, one reason in particular is having more time to read. I've mentioned before that I've been doing a much better job about reading to wind down at night, but I've been saving some books specifically for spring break. Hopefully I'll have some great suggestions for y'all after next week. Quite honestly, I don't think I'm the harshest critic when it comes to books I've read so don't hold me to my suggestions too strictly. Fortunately, Nell seems to be better about judging whether or not books are worth the read and is back today for another Novels with Nell post. 

By: Chris Cleave

Today I bring you another selection from one of my favorite genres- historical fiction. This book was unique because I hadn’t read one with this setting before. It focuses a lot on the London Blitz, which I was aware of but didn’t feel like we really studied it heavily in school or that I knew a lot about it. I can’t say I’m an expert by any stretch of the imagination after reading one novel (not even totally factual) about it but it was interesting to imagine it through the characters’ perspectives. Can you imagine bombing being a daily occurence in your town? Air raid sirens, underground shelters, emerging after hours underground to see yet more collapsed buildings, and casualties rising daily? I’d never really gotten a glimpse of life on the British home front before, and it was fascinating.
For anyone else like me who enjoys WWII novels, add this one to your list.

“The instant New York Times bestseller from Chris Cleave—the unforgettable novel about three lives entangled during World War II, told “with dazzling prose, sharp English wit, and compassion…a powerful portrait of war’s effects on those who fight and those left behind” (People, Book of the Week).

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.

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.”

 I'd love to hear your recommendations as to what I should read next! 

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