I love novels set in London, and this one is during 1939-1942. A cruel and heart shaping time. A time when the least likely people are thrown together to survive the part they played in World War Two.
Mary North didn't care that her father was a Parliamentary representative, her mother an elite house wife, she still wanted to be a spy. Finding out that won't be in her options, she jumped into the idea of becoming a teacher. Her teaching became a small, yet significant avenue for the forgotten children. The children who were disabled or poor and weren't sent to the country to avoid the war.
Tom Shaw, a man educated for his position as a teacher, did not have the same background or assets available to Mary. But he had something else she wanted.
Several sub characters help set the mood. Alistair, long-time friend of Tom, enlisted, and the unbelievable horrors of fighting the Germans affects his psyche. Yet, Alistair has a profound effect on Tom and Mary while attempting to hide his nightmares. Zachary showed love and compassion as he attempted to learn the impossible as a young, partially illiterate boy whom Mary devoted her newfound skills to making him whole.
A handful of other close friends and family make footprints in the story. All the lives exposed in Everyone Brave is Forgiven, highlight what the people think, feel, and how they react to everything big and small. The fact that true love can be fertilized during a war, is evidence of the power love has over the destructions of war.
Cleave's inspiration grew from love letters between his grandparents. Wow, would I like to read those!
Read every day!