We Must Be Brave

We Must Be Brave

Large Print - 2019
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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?
Publisher: Waterville, Maine : Thorndike Press, 2019
Edition: Large print edition
ISBN: 9781432865078
Branch Call Number: LP LIAR
Characteristics: 649 pages ; 22 cm
large print,rda


From the critics

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Sep 15, 2021

This is simply one of the most beautifully written novels I've ever read. Frances Liardet, who has been known primarily as a translator of Egyptian novelists - she studied Arabic at Oxford, according to the brief bio on the book's cover - tells the story of Ellen Parr, a recently married young woman in 1940 Great Britain who finds a sleeping child on a bus. The young girl, Pamela, is the 4 year old daughter of a woman killed hours earlier during a Nazi bombing raid, and Ellen and her husband Selwyn take in the child. The novel is one of family, friendship, rural/small town life, bravery in the face of life's obstacles and loss, and the effects each of these have on us and those around us. Liardet's telling of Ellen and Pamela's story is just perfect, and she writes lovingly about her characters, some of which like the gardener William, Lady Althea Brock and Ellen's best friend Lucy, you will remember long after you've finished the novel. Likewise, Liardet evokes a strong sense of place in Upton, the town where most of the action takes place, and the Absolom, the slum where Ellen lives some of her formative years. This one if highly recommended!

Sep 03, 2021

I enjoyed the book, it dragged a bit in the middle but it picks up.

May 24, 2021

Is this book MIA (missing in action)? It was allegedly due back in Feb./2021, and I've been waiting for it since April.

May 13, 2021

I stopped reading after a quarter of the way through as I found it dragged as it was very much disjointed.

Jan 28, 2021

This book was true to the actual events of those in Britain in WW2. My relatives did live through the Blitz and the hardships of living in a nation at war. A wonderful portrayal!! I loved this book! The characters popped off the page and their joys and misery were truly felt. This was the Allies' side of living through the War as The Reich's Daughter was the Germany side of the War.

Jun 10, 2020

I completely agree with review by dhuli. I forced myself to finish it thinking it would improve but it got worse. I gave it one star because the first part about the child the main character found on a bus held my interest wondering what was going to happen to her.

May 29, 2020

Considering that this novel spans both World Wars in Britain, a reader might expect that the required braveness refers to that needed to face bombings and destruction. Instead the courage refers to the ability to open one's heart to love again and again despite loss. A lovely story. Kristi & Abby Tabby

Oct 26, 2019

This story had highs and lows. Sometimes not too believable. But because of my years in England, I loved reading the history of small town England.

Sep 19, 2019


Jul 27, 2019

I loved this book, could not put it down.
great read.

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