An Amazon Best Book of May 2016: We’ve been wondering lately: What is the secret sauce that makes novels like Anthony Doerr’s All the Light We Cannot See and Kristin Hannah’s The Nightingale so popular, stories set against the backdrop of WWII? Whatever it is, it made me approach Chris Cleave’s Everyone Brave is Forgiven with a particularly wary eye. Sure, it’s got all of the ingredients—heroes and heroines who are flawed yet admirable. Check! A love story that manages to be poignant without being precious. Check! It even has cover art that is, as an astute colleague put it, a little cartoonish but appealingly “Disney-London.” If you’re a terrible cook like me, however, you know that you can have all of the right ingredients and still concoct something utterly inedible. But this couldn’t be farther from the case with ‘Brave,’ which was inspired by love letters that Cleave unearthed from his grandparents. The non-love story aspects of this novel are just as compelling, and add a layer of gravitas to a story that could easily slip into “sudsy” territory. These parts provide a chilling reminder that it wasn’t just the Jews who were marginalized and punished during WWII, but black children, poor children, and the otherwise “different” or disenfranchised. Moreover, through the character of Mary North, ‘Brave’ emphasizes the importance of challenging injustices. This timeless message is another key ingredient in what is sure to be another beloved (WWII) novel. --Erin Kodicek
About the Author:
Hello and thank you for being interested in my novels. My new one, EVERYONE BRAVE IS FORGIVEN, is out in April 2016 and you can preorder it now. My previous books are LITTLE BEE, GOLD and INCENDIARY.
My stories are about people at the extremes of human experience: refugees, the bereaved, the elite, the embattled. What I like about a novel is its ability to grow on you. People do grow. Situations change in an instant, but the character responds in its own time. I write as a psychologist, revealing how we change.
My novels have all been award winners and bestsellers, including a New York Times #1. I thank my readers for making that happen. My side of the bargain is that I will always push myself harder, trying to make each book better than the last.
I think highly of my readers, and feel that I'm writing up to them.
I live in London, England, with my wife and our three children.
If you have read one of my books, thank you. If you're thinking of doing so, I hope very much that you'll enjoy it.
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