Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Audiobook Review: Everyone Brave is Forgiven, by Chris Cleave

Everyone Brave is Forgiven, by Chris Cleave book cover and review
Everyone Brave is Forgiven is a poignant look at the day-to-day existence of the citizens of London and those that fought for the Brittish during World War II.

The main character is Mary.  She's a society girl, who when the war begins volunteers for duty.  She is assigned to teach at a school, but then all of the children are evacuated, and she is asked to stay behind. Tom is in charge of education, and eventually, Mary convinces him to let her teach the children that are left -- those with handicaps and the blacks.  She becomes very close to a black boy. And she and Tom are romantically involved.

Tom's roommate Alistair, has volunteered.  We follow him through battles in France, and then he eventually ends up on Malta, which is under siege.  His friend in the army is Simonson. They and their men, as well as the citizens of Malta, end up starving and without the means to defend the island.

Meanwhile, in London, there are air raids every night.  Mary's best friend is Hilda. When Alistair comes home on leave, Mary and Tom try to set them up.  But, it turns out Mary is the one who falls head over heels for Alistair.  But she can't tell Tom.

I really enjoyed Everyone Brave is Forgiven, even though it moves very slowly.  This pacing is necessary to bring the feelings of the relentlessness of the war.  And Cleave's descriptions and use of other literary devices gives the text life. Even though the subject is heavy, Cleave adds lightness with the amusing dialog between Alistair and Tom, and Alistair and Simonson.

Awful things happen -- after all, it is war. My parents lived through the war, and my dad served. I've heard of the horrors of those who served. But, we as Americans have no idea of the hardships the English people survived (or didn't survive.)  The nightly bombings, the shortages, the devastation, etc.  This novel brings it all to light.

I have a copy of the printed book, and I read a little bit.  I'm convinced that I enjoyed Everyone Brave is Forgiven much more in the audio version.  The narrator, Luke Thompson, does a great job.  And listening to the descriptions and dialog just had more impact than reading.

Everyone Brave is Forgiven shouldn't be missed by anyone who is interested in World War II history.  Although the book is about young people, it will be a hard sell to most teens.  I would recommend this only to those teens with a serious interest in WWII stories.

Published by Simon & Schuster, 2016 (Simon & Schuster Audio)
Audiobook obtained from the library
425 pages

Rating: 4/5

Back to Annette's Book Spot Homepage Copyright © 2018 Annette's Book Spot. All Rights Reserved


  1. I don't do audio,but this sounds really good!! I enjoyed reading this post-thank you!!

  2. I do enjoy a good WWII book and this sounds different from a lot of them out there.

  3. I love WWII books and have this one on my TBR. Just haven't gotten to it yet. I sometimes have trouble with slow plotlines, so we'll see how I do with this one ... I'm glad you enjoyed it!


Thanks for visiting! I LOVE comments! I've received several awards and because of the time involved, I now must make this an award free blog.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...