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Everyone Brave Is Forgiven

On sale

21st April 2016

Price: £14.99

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Selected: Hardcover / ISBN-13: 9781473618695

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‘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 addictive, propulsive read’ The Sunday Times

Summer Reading pick – Paula Hawkins, author of The Girl on the Train
Top Ten hottest summer reads – Sunday Telegraph
Instant New York Times Bestseller
Evening Standard bestseller
‘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

An extraordinary tale of love and honour in extreme circumstances, from the multi-award-winning author of THE OTHER HAND.

When war is declared, Mary North leaves finishing school unfinished, goes straight to the War Office, and signs up.

Tom Shaw decides to give it a miss – until his flatmate Alistair unexpectedly enlists, and 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 instead 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.

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.


Esquire, Top 10 Best New Novels of 2016
It's a war novel but not as you know it. Cleave, a Guardian journalist and celebrated novelist (Incendiary, The Other Hand), has reportedly written his best book to date with this tale of a young teacher determined to stay in Blitz-time London.
<i>Daily Mail</i>
Loosely based on the author's grandparents' stories, this is 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.
Woman & Home
I was blown away by it.
Good Housekeeping
A special book
Theo Tait, The Sunday Times
An addictive, propulsive read . . . Cleave writes with an engaging intensity, a determination to tackle big moral issues, and a willingness to take risks.
Eithne Farry, Mail on Sunday
Tender and touching.
Lucy Scholes, Independent
Powerful and moving . . . Cleave's real revisionism exists in the very fabric of his prose.
Hannah Beckerman, Observer
Cleave cements his reputation as a skilful storyteller, and a sensitive chronicler of the interplay between the political and the personal . . . intricately researched and evocatively conveyed.
Helen Dunmore, Guardian
Absorbing [and] sharply paced.
Claire Allfree, Metro
Brilliant [and] fearlessly written . . . Thoroughly absorbing.
Financial Times
A compelling and finely crafted novel...The Second World War is dangerous territory for a contemporary novelist: the enemies they face include familiarity, cliché, and the reader's knowledge that any number of things happened then that were far stranger than fiction. For a writer to succeed in setting a tale in a period of heightened emotions, they need first to keep their own emotions under close control. 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.
Shelf Awareness
Magnificent and profoundly moving...This dazzling novel of World War II is full of unforgettable characters and the keen emotional insights that moved readers of Chris Cleave's Little Bee.
People Book of the Week
With dazzling prose, sharp English wit, and compassion, Cleave paints a powerful portrait of war's effects on those who fight and those left behind.
Grazia Book Club
He has the rare ability to tell a unique story while also expressing universal truths that pierce straight into your own everyday. Sure to be one of the hits of this year.
Barking and Dagenham Post
A story of epic love inspired by grandparents and capital.
Irish Times
Brings both the Blitz and the siege of Malta to unforgettable life.
'War holds obvious advantages as a subject for novelists, with all its opportunities for heightened drama and extreme challenges for characters. But Cleave has taken an over familiar milieu and created something compelling... This moving novel is filled with a sense of new possibilities emerging from shattered lives.'
You'd be hard-pushed to find a list of what to read in 2016 that doesn't feature Chris Cleave's latest.
Mail on Sunday
A tremendous, sweeping love story that unfolds against the backdrop of war-torn London and Malta.