Everyone Brave Is Forgiven | Penguin Random House Canada
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Everyone Brave Is Forgiven

Publisher: Anchor Canada

The breathtaking new novel set during the Blitz by the bestselling and critically acclaimed author of the reader and bookseller favourite, Little Bee.

As World War Two begins, Mary, a young socialite, is determined to shock her blueblood political family by volunteering for the war effort. She is assigned as a teacher to children who were evacuated from London and have been rejected by the countryside because they are infirm, mentally disabled, or—like Mary’s favorite student, Zachary—have colored skin.

Tom, an education administrator, is distraught when his best friend, Alastair, enlists. Alastair, an art restorer, has always seemed far removed from the violent life to which he has now condemned himself. But Tom finds distraction in Mary, first as her employer and then as their relationship quickly develops in the emotionally charged times. When Mary meets Alastair, the three are drawn into a tragic love triangle and—while war escalates and bombs begin falling around them—further into a new world unlike any they’ve ever known.

Moving from Blitz-torn London to the Siege of Malta, this is an epic story of love, loss, prejudice and incredible courage.


National Bestseller
New York Times Bestseller
A New York Times Book Review Editors’ Choice
A Miami Herald Best Book
A Paste Magazine Best Book
Winner of the Goldsboro Books Glass Bell Award

"Cleave's foray into historical fiction is both grand and intimate. The novel's ability to stay small and quiet against the raging tableau of war is what also makes it glorious. . . . Cleave crafts an absorbing account of survival, racism, classism, love and pain, and the scars left by all of them. . . . The characters' brave concord is both inspiring and heart-rending, and Cleave's prose is imbued with a Dickensian flair, deploying brilliant metaphors . . . and crackling dialogue." ―The New York Times Book Review

"This is a story about love, but not the cinematic kind many wartime romances offer. Instead, it is a story about what violence and uncertainty can take away, and what remains in its place. . . . [Cleave's] oservations on love are not breathless or starry-eyed. They are sad, and real." —Toronto Star

"Everyone Brave Is Forgiven is an absorbing, sharply paced novel." —The Guardian (UK)

"Cleave is a powerful writer, leaving readers with vivid and uncompromising images and stories. In Little Bee, Incendiary and Gold, he told the truth, unflinchingly. Everyone Brave is Forgiven is the same, and readers won't soon forget it." —Vancouver Sun 

"Cleave portrays the visceral experiences of war with skill and empathy. . . . With Everyone Brave Is Forgiven Cleave cements his reputation as a skilful storyteller and a sensitive chronicler of the interplay between the political and the personal." —The Observer (UK)

"Written with wit and grace. . . . Everyone Brave Is Forgiven asks hard questions with no easy answers, reminding us of the price we pay every day just for being human." —Miami Herald

"A superb novel that breathes fresh life into an often brutal scenario. Particularly astute at demonstrating how war seeps into the psyche and changes it, this is beautifully written, funny, gut-wrenching and, above all, honest." —Daily Mail (UK)

"Among all the recent fictions about the war, Cleave's miniseries of a novel is a surprising standout, with irresistibly engaging characters who sharply illuminate issues of class, race and wartime morality." —Kirkus Reviews

"Cleave unflinchingly exposes the personal hang-ups of his characters as they grapple with hard life choices. He harnesses his immense talent for crafting gorgeously insightful turns of phrase to show us how courage and cowardice sometimes exist side-by-side in the same person. . . . Everyone Brave Is Forgiven . . . is both searing and timeless." —The Seattle Times

"A deeply moving new novel from Chris Cleave . . . Everyone Brave Is Forgiven is peopled with richly developed heroes. . . . This is a novel that embraces human confidence that life can be patched and sutured to resemble happier times." —Star Tribune (Minneapolis)