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London, 1939. The day war is declared, Mary North goes to the War Office, signs up-- and is assigned to be a teacher to a class evacuated to the countryside. Tom Shaw ignores the war until his roommate Alistair Heath has enlisted. The three meet, and become tested in ways they could not have imagined, entangling their lives in violence and passion, shaping their hopes and dreams.
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.
Winner of the 2017 Goldsboro Books Glass Bell Award 'Ian McEwan did this with Atonement, Sarah Waters did it with The Night Watch, and Chris Cleave does it too with Everyone Brave is Forgiven... A compelling and finely crafted novel.' FT An extraordinary story of love and honour in extreme circumstances, from the multi-award-winning author of THE OTHER HAND. Instant New York Times bestseller Evening Standard top ten bestseller iBooks BOOKS OF THE YEAR 2016 Irish Times summer reading pick 'A cracker' Stylist, 10 Exciting Books in 2016 'His best book to date' Esquire, 10 best novels of 2016 Guardian Literary Highlight of 2016 Independent Best Book to read in 2016 Irish News Top Picks for 2016 Washington Post 20 Books We Can't Wait to Read in 2016 In a powerful combination of both humour and heartbreak, this dazzling novel weaves little-known history, and a perfect love story, through the vast sweep of the Second World War - daring us to understand that, against the great theatre of world events, it is the intimate losses, the small battles, the daily human triumphs, that change us most.
I am a woman built upon the wreckage of myself. In an emotionally raw voice alive with grief, compassion, and startling humor, a woman mourns the loss of her husband and son at the hands of one of history’s most notorious criminals. And in appealing to their executioner, she reveals the desperate sadness of a broken heart and a working-class life blown apart.
Building on the tradition of Little Bee, Chris Cleave again writes with elegance, humor, and passion about friendship, marriage, parenthood, tragedy, and redemption. What would you sacrifice for the people you love? KATE AND ZOE met at nineteen when they both made the cut for the national training program in track cycling—a sport that demands intense focus, blinding exertion, and unwavering commitment. They are built to exploit the barest physical and psychological edge over equally skilled rivals, all of whom are fighting for the last one tenth of a second that separates triumph from despair. Now at thirty-two, the women are facing their last and biggest race: the 2012 Olympics. Each wants desperately to win gold, and each has more than a medal to lose. Kate is the more naturally gifted, but the demands of her life have a tendency to slow her down. Her eight-year-old daughter Sophie dreams of the Death Star and of battling alongside the Rebels as evil white blood cells ravage her personal galaxy—she is fighting a recurrence of the leukemia that nearly killed her three years ago. Sophie doesn’t want to stand in the way of her mum’s Olympic dreams, but each day the dark forces of the universe seem to be massing against her. Devoted and self-sacrificing Kate knows her daughter is fragile, but at the height of her last frenzied months of training, might she be blind to the most terrible prognosis? Intense, aloof Zoe has always hovered on the periphery of real human companionship, and her compulsive need to win at any cost has more than once threatened her friendship with Kate—and her own sanity. Will she allow her obsession, and the advantage she has over a harried, anguished mother, to sever the bond they have shared for more than a decade? Echoing the adrenaline-fueled rush of a race around the Velodrome track, Gold is a triumph of superbly paced, heart-in-throat storytelling. With great humanity and glorious prose, Chris Cleave examines the values that lie at the heart of our most intimate relationships, and the choices we make when lives are at stake and everything is on the line.
The face of the woman in the photograph was tilted upwards, as if enjoying the sunshine just for a moment, even as the wreckage of the bombed-out street lay behind her… 1944, Cornwall: Blinded by love, Vivienne Hamilton eloped to Paris with a Nazi prisoner-of-war, never to be seen again. A disgrace to her family, her name would not be mentioned by any of her relatives for over 75 years. Present day, London: When Sophie discovers a photograph of her great aunt Vivi from World War Two, it throws her into a world of confusion. Because, as she learns about this secret relative, she quickly realises that the photograph doesn’t fit with her family’s story. It shows Vivi leaving an address associated with a spy network in London – a place she had no reason to be – and it is dated right before she disappeared. Meanwhile Sophie’s own life feels as blasted and bombed as the blitzed city in the photograph she’s looking at. Her beautiful daughter – as full of joy and wild energy as Vivi had apparently once been – is gone; and Sophie’s heart has been left broken into pieces. Retreating to the family home in rural Cornwall to seek solace from her pain and the feelings of guilt that she could have done more to protect her daughter, Sophie finds herself becoming obsessed with Vivi’s life. But nothing can prepare Sophie for what she is about to uncover – the story of a woman who risked everything for the person she loved the most; and a secret family history that could be the key to Sophie’s own future. A powerful, haunting and unforgettable read about love, heartbreak and betrayal set in Second World War Britain and France. Perfect for fans of The Nightingale, Under a Scarlet Sky and My Name is Eva. Readers love When We Were Brave: ‘Wow! Just wow! This book kept me on the edge of my seat right from the get-go!... [An] amazing story.’ Goodreads Reviewer, 5 stars ‘Fantastic… Historical fiction at its best. Characters that you fall in love with, a story you will hate to end.’ NetGalley Reviewer ‘Totally captivating… About the bravery of the silent heroes of WWII, the secret agents who intercepted codes… A wonderful, compelling story that will grip you to the very end, it will break your heart but it will also leave you with a sense of gratitude for these selfless individuals. I can't stop thinking about this story.’ Krafti Reader, 5 stars ‘I [am] hooked on this FANTASTIC author. When We Were Brave is another OUTSTANDING piece of fantastic writing… I have nothing but total admiration.’ Goodreads Reviewer, 5 stars ‘Mesmerising and captivated me with every turn of the page… Absolutely heart-breaking… Filled with sadness, love, courage and sacrifice – I couldn’t put this book down.’ Stardust Book Reviews, 5 stars ‘A heartbreaking tale of war, love, loss, betrayal and courage.’ Goodreads Reviewer, 5 stars ‘Oh my goodness I loved this book!!!… A beautifully woven time-slip novel… This story and its characters will stay with me.’ Goodreads Reviewer, 5 stars ‘I LOVED THIS BOOK!… Vivi is a fierce heroine and represents the bravery that everyone had to have during the war… I recommend this book to everyone that loves historical fiction.’ NetGalley Reviewer, 5 stars ‘A truly heartbreaking and inspirational read. I was gripped from page one and literally flew through the pages.’ Jaynie’s Book Reviews, 5 stars ‘After reading When We Were Brave [Suzanne Kelman] is officially added to my autobuy author list… For a book to bring tears to my eyes it has to be amazing... I highly recommend this one to anyone who loves WWII fiction and even those that normally do not… You will not be disappointed.’ Goodreads Reviewer, 5 stars
A new novel from the Booker Prize winning Pat Barker, author of the Regeneration Trilogy, that unforgettably portrays London during the Blitz (her first portrayal of World War II) and reconfirms her place in the very top rank of British novelists. London, the Blitz, Autumn 1940. As the bombs fall on the blacked-out city, ambulance driver Elinor Brooke races from bomb sites to hospitals trying to save the lives of injured survivors, working alongside former friend Kit Neville, while her husband Paul Tarrant works as an air-raide warden. Once fellow students at the Slade School of Fine Art before the First World War destroyed the hopes of their generation, they now find themselves caught in another war, this time at home. As the bombing intensifies, the constant risk of death makes all three reach out for quick consolation. And into their midst comes the spirit medium Bertha Mason, grotesque and unforgettable, whose ability to make contact with the deceased finds vastly increased demands as death rains down from the skies. Old loves and obsessions resurface until Elinor is brought face to face with an almost impossible choice. Completing the story of Elinor Brooke, Paul Tarrant and Kit Neville begun with Life Class and continued with Toby's Room, Noonday is both a stand-alone novel and the climax of a trilogy. Writing about the Second World War for the first time, Pat Barker brings the besieged and haunted city of London into electrifying life in her most powerful novel since the Regeneration trilogy.
From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of the acclaimed memoir Stitches comes a stunning story of one boy's heartbreaking coming of age in 1950s America. After his mother abandons the family, thirteen-year-old Russell Pruitt moves with his Korean War veteran father to a small town in southern California. Eager to fit in and figure out the mystifying rules of being a man, he succumbs to the sway of boys more feral than himself--leading to an act of betrayal that will have devastating consequences. Told through cinematic artwork that will transfix readers with its visceral potency and grace, Home After Dark is a mesmerizing evocation of a boy's struggle to survive the everyday brutalities of adolescence, and forge his own path to manhood.
A stunning wartime story from the Sunday Times bestselling author of The New Mrs Clifton. When the Nazis invade Denmark, British-born Kay Eberstern is sickened when Bror - her husband of twenty-five years - collaborates with the enemy to save his family home. Lured by British Intelligence into a covert world of resistance, her life in the hands of London's code breakers, Kay's betrayal of her husband is complete as she risks her home and children to protect an SOE agent who won't even tell her his name. As her family - especially her headstrong daughter - is drawn further into danger, Kay is faced with a wrenching moral dilemma. Who will be sacrificed next for the cause? Can she and Bror ever find their way back to one another? I Can't Begin to Tell You is a stunning story of bravery, broken loyalties, lies and how the power of love can bring redemption even to the darkest of places. Praise for I Can't Begin to Tell You: 'Impressive . . . Buchan brings the period vividly to life' Sunday Times 'Such a good novel, full of incident and history' Daily Express 'A gripping story of courage and conscience. Highly recommended' Sunday Mirror 'Gripping, fascinating' Daily Mail