The instant New York Times bestseller from Chris Cleave—the unforgettable novel about three lives entangled during World War II, told “with dazzling prose, sharp English wit, and compassion…a powerful portrait of war’s effects on those who fight and those left behind” (People, Book of the Week). London, 1939. The day war is declared, Mary North leaves finishing school unfinished, goes straight to the War Office, and signs up. Tom Shaw decides to ignore the war—until he learns his roommate Alistair Heath has unexpectedly enlisted. Then 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 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. Set in London during the years of 1939–1942, when citizens had slim hope of survival, much less victory; and on the strategic island of Malta, which was daily devastated by the Axis barrage, Everyone Brave is Forgiven features little-known history and a perfect wartime love story inspired by the real-life love letters between Chris Cleave’s grandparents. This dazzling novel dares us to understand that, against the great theater of world events, it is the intimate losses, the small battles, the daily human triumphs that change us most.
everyone brave is forgiven
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Presents a tale of a precarious friendship between an illegal Nigerian refugee and a recent widow from suburban London, a story told from the alternating and disparate perspectives of both women.
“From a remarkable new talent in Irish fiction comes a terrifyingly intimate story of a war marriage caught up in the calamity of World War II, a much anticipated debut which has garnered prepublication praise from Colm Toibin, Hugo Hamilton, A.D. Miller, and Chris Cleave. In a desperate bid to escape the trenches of the Eastern front, Peter Faber, an ordinary German soldier, marries Katharina Spinell, a woman he has never met, in a marriage of convenience that promises honeymoon’ leave for him and a pension for her should he die in the war. With ten days’ leave secured, Peter visits his new wife in Berlin and both are surprised by the passion that develops between them. When Peter returns to the horror of the front, it is only the dream of Katharina that sustains him as he approaches Stalingrad. Back in Berlin, Katharina, goaded on by her desperate and delusional parents, ruthlessly works her way into Nazi high society, wedding herself, her young husband, and her unborn child to the regime. But when the tide of war turns and Berlin falls, Peter and Katharina find their simple dream of family cast in tragic light and increasingly hard to hold on to. Reminiscent of Bernard Schlink’s “The Reader”, this is an unforgettable novel of marriage, ambition, and the brutality of war, which heralds the arrival of a breathtaking new voice in international fiction.
‘Superb. She had me at page one’ Chris Cleave, author of Everyone Brave is Forgiven ‘It’s the artful pleating of this subtle, psychologically astute novel that sets it apart’ DAILY MAIL The kaleidoscopic story of one woman as seen through the eyes of those she has loved or been loved by.
‘Heartfelt and timely’ CHRIS CLEAVE, New York Times bestselling author of Everyone Brave is Forgiven •• When family tragedy strikes, Alice Fonseka, the dreamy, artistic child of a Singhalese mother and Tamil father, leaves the beautiful island of Sri Lanka. Unable to bear the injustice of what has happened, her family heads for England. There, in a totally foreign environment, Alice builds a life for herself and finds outlets for her art. But she remains restless, haunted by memories of the past, and, even in London, the threat of violence is never far away.
Building on the tradition of Little Bee, Chris Cleave again writes with elegance, humor, and passion about friendship, marriage, parenthood, tragedy, and redemption. What would you sacrifice for the people you love? KATE AND ZOE met at nineteen when they both made the cut for the national training program in track cycling—a sport that demands intense focus, blinding exertion, and unwavering commitment. They are built to exploit the barest physical and psychological edge over equally skilled rivals, all of whom are fighting for the last one tenth of a second that separates triumph from despair. Now at thirty-two, the women are facing their last and biggest race: the 2012 Olympics. Each wants desperately to win gold, and each has more than a medal to lose. Kate is the more naturally gifted, but the demands of her life have a tendency to slow her down. Her eight-year-old daughter Sophie dreams of the Death Star and of battling alongside the Rebels as evil white blood cells ravage her personal galaxy—she is fighting a recurrence of the leukemia that nearly killed her three years ago. Sophie doesn’t want to stand in the way of her mum’s Olympic dreams, but each day the dark forces of the universe seem to be massing against her. Devoted and self-sacrificing Kate knows her daughter is fragile, but at the height of her last frenzied months of training, might she be blind to the most terrible prognosis? Intense, aloof Zoe has always hovered on the periphery of real human companionship, and her compulsive need to win at any cost has more than once threatened her friendship with Kate—and her own sanity. Will she allow her obsession, and the advantage she has over a harried, anguished mother, to sever the bond they have shared for more than a decade? Echoing the adrenaline-fueled rush of a race around the Velodrome track, Gold is a triumph of superbly paced, heart-in-throat storytelling. With great humanity and glorious prose, Chris Cleave examines the values that lie at the heart of our most intimate relationships, and the choices we make when lives are at stake and everything is on the line.
I am a woman built upon the wreckage of myself. In an emotionally raw voice alive with grief, compassion, and startling humor, a woman mourns the loss of her husband and son at the hands of one of history’s most notorious criminals. And in appealing to their executioner, she reveals the desperate sadness of a broken heart and a working-class life blown apart.
This free sampler features extended excerpts from six novels coming in 2012 from Simon & Schuster. The books and authors presented in this sampler include In One Person, the first new novel in three years from John Irving, Carry the One by Carol Anshaw, Gold by Chris Cleave, author of Little Bee, In the Shadow of the Banyan by Vaddey Ratner, The Twelve Rooms of the Nile by Enid Shomer, and The Green Shore by Natalie Bakopoulos. In addition to these exclusive previews, the sample includes interviews with the writers and commentary from the books’ editors.
Featuring favorite authors and thrilling debuts, Something to Read About: A Book Club Sampler, is the guide for finding your next book club read. Whether you’re in the mood for something historical, contemporary, young adult, or true life these are books you and your reading group won’t want to miss: The Memory Palace: A Memoir by Mira Bartok, Incendiary by Chris Cleave, The Chemical Garden Trilogy Book One: Wither by Lauren DeStefano, The Red Queen by Philippa Gregory, Possession by Elana Johnson, The Dirty Life: A Memoir of Farming, Food, and Love by Kristin Kimball, The Butterfly’s Daughter by Mary Alice Monroe, Skipping a Beat by Sarah Pekkanen, and Where Things Come Back by John Corey Whaley. Enjoy an excerpt from each book accompanied by a collection of bonus materials intended to enrich your reading experience and book club discussion. You’ll get discussion questions, suggestions for enhancing your book club, and full-length author interviews. We’ve even included a special note from the author and their answer to our culinary quandary: “What would you serve at a book club discussing your own book?” Their menu suggestions range from a family recipe for the “Best Ever Refritos” to a “Royal-Tea Cocktail” and are sure to add something special to your next book group meeting. The Something to Read About sampler was created to help you discover your next won’t-be-able-to-put-it-down, can’t-wait-to-talk-about-it, all-time-favorite read. And like most of the finer things in life, these stories are meant to be shared. Enjoy!