Even in war you were still more likely to be struck by a woman than a bullet
- Everyone Brave Is Forgiven
A war by its own very definition is ruthless, devastating, painful and heart wrenching. How many of us can find humor in it? Well leaving out the sarcasm, most of us can’t. But EVERYONE BRAVE IS FORGIVEN by Chris Cleave, is a masterpiece written in a way that makes the World War II seem like a ride on a roller-coaster.
How lovely each breath was. How peculiar that one had never noticed
Name: Everyone Brave Is Forgiven (Click on the name to be directed to Amazon page)
Author: Chris Cleave
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
To watch what the Author has to say about the book before I start my monologue, click the link below:
(Copy and paste the url to view the video)
For a trailer and a brief description, watch below:
Description: (For those unfortunate people who couldn’t watch the trailer)
The story is set in the period of second world war, where the city of London is being raided by the Germans and life as they knew it was falling apart. In the midst of their fight with an external enemy, the British are fighting with demons of their own and three people get entangled into it and crushed by the war.
Mary North, a willful girl with strong opinions chooses to fight for the rights of the colored , crippled and disabled kids who were left in the city as the country side people would not accept them. She decides to teach them and fight the war of discrimination on the home turf.
She is aided by a gentleman called Tom who gives her a school and his heart. Soon, the Mary meets Alistair Heath. Being Tom’s best friend, witty and a man of war, Alistair steals Mary’s heart before she even knows it. But fate the cruel commander takes Alistair to the midst of war in Malta.
Mary and Tom try to build a bridge between them but then again, it is the season of war. It brings nothing of joy, it destroys everything in its way. Tom is wretched away from Mary’s life in the most horrible way leaving the living to fill the hollow of their hearts. Mary and Alistair waddle through the pain in their own way, fighting their own battles and hoping for the best. While London falls around them, hopes crash and dreams shatter, the destiny plays it’s cruel game between these two.
Perhaps this was what love felt like after all – not the lurch of going over a humpback bridge, and not the incandescence of fireworks,just the quite understanding that one should take a kind hand when it was offered, before all the light was gone from the sky
I don’t have a my take for this for I am in love with this book. Why? one may ask, What’s in the war story having a love triangle so beautiful?
I loved the book not because of the plot( I’d actually stopped reading once after first few chapters not wanting to know how cruel the war had been), it’s the author’s writing that moved me and kept me hooked to the book till the end. He has brought out the darker side of the war told not from point of the survivors, but by the people who actually suffered the war in their own homeland. The rich have the story of victory, but the poor, they have the story of survival.
Alistair’s humor was the anchor throughout the book. His character is the one which keeps the story light even during grave times. There is one instance in the book where he writing the situation of Malta to Mary that I really loved. It is so close to the truth yet packed into a sweet letter that would make the reader think that Malta is a paradise. I cried and laughed at the same time when I read the conversations between Alistair and Simonson. That was the way the author has described the war. The hunger, the pain, the grief… so well written that if you didn’t feel it while reading, then you didn’t do it right.
Reading the book was an amazing experience because it was like a movie where you see the perspective of each character and feel the emotions that they feel linking you, bonding you to a war you had been lucky enough to not witness.
Oh one more thing, the author has not softened the blow of the war or deaths of the characters which lead you to believe the authenticity. The hollowness and the grief, their impact on other characters and the readers themselves is very profound.
I was brought up to believe that everyone brave is forgiven, but in wartime courage is cheap and clemency out of season.
I thank the NetGalley for giving me a copy of this book and pardon me for not reviewing sooner. I also thank the Author and Simon and Schuster for giving me this amazing piece of work which I will cherish for the times to come.
This is the first book I have read from this author, and I rate it 4/5 stars!
To end with I would like to quote few of my most favorite sentences from the book:
- This was the velvet rope mothers offered: enough silence to make a noose with.
- Most of all he hated the flicker of warmth that hatred gave you
- Look at us won’t you? We are a nation of glorious cowards, ready to battle any evil but ours.