We Must Be Brave

We Must Be Brave

A Novel

Book - 2019
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Spanning the sweep of the twentieth century, We Must Be Brave explores the fierce love that we feel for our children and the power of that love to endure. Beyond distance, beyond time, beyond life itself.

"This stirring debut will work its way indelibly into your heart." --Georgia Hunter, author of We Were the Lucky Ones

A woman. A war. The child who changed everything.

December 1940. In the disorderly evacuation of Southampton, England, newly married Ellen Parr finds a small child asleep on the backseat of an empty bus. No one knows who little Pamela is.

Ellen professed not to want children with her older husband, and when she takes Pamela into her home and rapidly into her heart, she discovers that this is true: Ellen doesn't want children. She wants only Pamela. Three golden years pass as the Second World War rages on. Then one day Pamela is taken away, screaming. Ellen is no stranger to sorrow, but when she returns to the quiet village life she's long lived, she finds herself asking: In a world changed by war, is it fair to wish for an unchanged heart?

In the spirit of We Were the Lucky Ones and The Nightingale , here is a novel about courage and kindness, hardship and friendship, and the astonishing power of love.
Publisher: New York : G.P. Putnam's Sons, [2019]
ISBN: 9780735218864
Branch Call Number: LIAR
Characteristics: 452 pages ; 24 cm


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Jun 10, 2019

This is such a wonderful book. Once I started reading it I couldn't put it down! Now I can understand why there was such a long waiting list for it. I hope to read more from France's Liardet.

Apr 21, 2019

This is an odd book. The story concept, the misplacement of a child during evacuation of an English city during the blitz, had potential but is not well served by the author. Various plot lines are introduced that fail to serve a central plot. While the relationship with the first child is developed in minute detail, there is no real development of the much longer relationship with the second girl. I found the author's multiple detailed descriptions of the lips of a sleeping child, shape of the sleeping child's limbs, the focus on which bed the child was sleeping in, the moving of a sleeping child from her own bed to an adult's bed, etc verging on unwholesome.

Mar 08, 2019

I wanted to love this book. The first half was wonderful and a true pleasure to read. The second half, things got...slow. The last 100 pages in particular could have been consolidated to about 10, and the ending was disconcertingly abrupt. I wish it had focused more on the WWII era instead of moving forward through the rest of the century. Overall the story was unsatisfying and left me wanting more.

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