Everyone Brave is Forgiven

NEW: Everyone Brave in video!

NEW: All the background for book clubs & interested readers

First editions are now available in all countries:

“A superb novel that breathes fresh life into an often brutal scenario. Particularly astute at demonstrating how war seeps into the psyche and changes it, this is beautifully written, funny, gut-wrenching and, above all, honest.” – Daily Mail

“Cleave’s foray into historical fiction is both grand and intimate. The novel’s ability to stay small and quiet against the raging tableau of war is what also makes it glorious…Cleave’s prose is imbued with a Dickensian flair, deploying brilliant metaphors and crackling dialogue.” – New York Times Book Review

“Ian McEwan did it with Atonement, Sarah Waters did it with The Night Watch, and Chris Cleave does it too with Everyone Brave Is Forgiven.” – Financial Times

From the publisher:

It’s 1939, and the world is at war. Within an hour of hostilities being declared in Britain, Mary, a headstrong young socialite, volunteers to serve. She is assigned to teach children who have been rejected by the countryside to which they were evacuated. It is in this role that Mary meets Tom, an education administrator in her school district.

Their professional relationship quickly becomes personal. But when Mary meets Alistair, Tom’s best friend who has enlisted, the three are drawn into a dilemma that they must navigate while trying to survive an escalating war.

Everyone Brave is Forgiven is a sweeping epic with the same kind of unforgettable characters and scenes that made Chris Cleave’s #1 New York Times bestselling novel Little Bee a book club favourite. It is a stunning examination of what it means to love, lose and remain courageous.

67 thoughts on “Everyone Brave is Forgiven”

  1. Dear Mr Cleave,
    I am halfway through your wonderful book but occasionally jolted out of the fictional world by trivial historical inaccuracies. I am 74 years old and remember how thrilled I was with my green duffle coat. I don’t think they were fashionable or worn by anyone but sailors at sea until the late fifties. The wonderful school milk program was not instituted until after the war. I, too, noticed the hairspray and the “backcombing”. Your book is enthralling and these errors are not going to spoil
    it for me but you might like to tidy them up.
    Best wishes and thank you

  2. Hello Chris,
    I am a 38 year old male American. My normal reading material consists of Lee Child and Brad Thor type books. I read your interview in BookPage, and felt compelled to read your book. I am so glad that I did, your book pulled on emotions that other books never have. I really felt drawn into each character, and could feel a sense of what it must have been like for them. Thank you for writing such a great book.

  3. Dear Chris,
    As a man in my early seventies with four unfinished novels, my gift in life is when I come across brilliance. By pure luck, my wife brought home “Little Bee”. I do not have the expertise to tell you how this work of art consumed my entire body and mind. You have been blessed with a gift and thankfully you have shared that gift with us.

  4. Congratulation to an outstanding authorship! I don’t even know how to phrase my appreciation, but let me start by saying that your books all have the exact and perfect mix of a plot one cannot but continue to read, and a marvellous way of using language in the most beautiful and expressive way. As a non- native English speaker (I’m Swedish) I don’t really know how to put it, I just love your books – and I do read v e r y much of all sorts. Since I read The Other Hand and shortly after (of course!) found Incendiaries you became my favourite writer. When Gold was published I was even more convinced and didn’t think it could get any better. But after just having finished the last lines of Everyone Brave is Forgiven I realised it could! One of the amazing thing with your authorship is how you how managed to make all books so different from each other. There is just no way of thinking ” I recognise this..” Which to me is a feat. Another very special talent of yours is how your books always transport you to another place/time/setting and raises an interest to learn more about that environment/setting. For example I know I’ll spend the rest of this evening reading about World War Two in Malta, just as I spent an entire night after having finished Gold watching speed cycling (which I previously didn’t even know existed!). No book has ever caused me to do such thing.
    I have read all of your books in both English and Swedish and can’t wait for Everyone Brave… to be translated in Swedish for my friends, fellow book club members etc to read. And for me to re-read. Finally, don’t make us wait too long for the next book! I am chronically ill with cancer and one of the many things that currently scares me is not being able to read all amazing books potentially being published in the future. It may seem a detail in comparison to the prospect of leaving life, family and friends, but it still saddens me. Once again, thanks for sharing your stories.

    1. Dear Kajsa, your very kind comment, on its own, has made writing all the books worth it. Thank you, very sincerely. I am so glad that the novels have meant as much to you as they have to me. I think I am just like you when I start to get into a subject – no one was more surprised that me when I became fascinated by athletes, for example – and then the projects start to draw me in, and I fall in love with the characters of the people I’m researching, until finally they become characters in a novel. The reason it all makes sense – the reason I can spend three or four years on a project like that – is that there are likeminded people in the world who are interested to dive into these unexpected microcosms of the human experience, who have the same sense of fascination as I do. Thank you for being a fellow traveler and for taking the time to write this wonderful comment. I am really sorry to hear that you’re ill, and I am sending you all my thoughts and good wishes. I can’t promise that the next book will be quick, but thanks to you I can promise that I feel ready to carry on writing it. Your words have meant more to me than all the reviews, and have come at a strange & pivotal time for me. Thank you for lending me your strength. All my best wishes – CC

      1. What a lovely reply to this person who wrote beautifully and from the heart about your books. Your response doesn’t surprise me; it rings as true as the places and times and characters I have met in your first three novels – stories that I have talked about and re-read and passed on to friends; every book different, every one leaving their mark.
        I have just ordered Everyone Brave is Forgiven. Can’t wait.
        Thank you, Chris Cleave

  5. I’m hoping desperately that the non-inclusive language used so far by page 20 in the book is ‘just tongue in cheek’ as you try to portray the so called upper class characters in this novel. I can see where the plot is going and hope it gets less Downtonish!

      1. On the contrary, I was struck by how cleverly your writing embraces the era. The prose reads as if it was written then,not in 2016. The same was true of Incendiary.

  6. I have never written to an author to express my sincere appreciation for transporting me into another time and place. I felt it would negligent if I did not tell you how special your book became to me. I’m going through something at work that I thought was overwhelming, and now I know that it is not and, if Londoners and Maltese could carry on, then so can I. I feel pushed to write something witty, because your language is so beautiful, but there is a reason you are an author and I am not. Thank you for this book.

    1. Dear Stacey, I can’t tell you how much your kind words mean to me. Thank you. When I was writing the book I was also going through some difficult stuff at the same time, and like you I found that when I thought about what my grandparents had gone through, it gave some helpful perspective. Hope everything goes well for you. Thanks for your kind words & for taking the time to write them.

  7. Hi there
    I recently lent my 86 year old mother “Everyone Brave…” while she was staying with me, thinking she’d enjoy it since she and her sister were two of the many children who were evacuated from London for long periods during the war. They were sent to a Roman Catholic boarding school run by nuns, which was quite an eye opening experience in itself.
    She loved the book and found it very emotional. Naturally, it brought back lots of memories of those times. While she bows to the accuracy of your historical research, several descriptions made her pause, put the book down and comment….she was very surprised that aerosol cans of hair spray would be used, saying she was sure her mother never used hair spray and she cannot remember anything in aerosol containers. She was also surprised that avocado would be on the menu at the Ritz in the war years, having never seen one in a greengrocer’s shop until she arrived in New Zealand in the early 1950s. She believes American Jeeps didn’t arrive in Britain till the very end of the war. And she believes ‘poster paint’ (as it marked the name on a gas mask case) was a later invention, or at least the name ‘poster paint’ was. Just little things, but they obviously stood out for her. Didn’t stop her enjoying it so much that she tells me she went on to read another of your books, non fiction, based on your grandparents’ letters to each other from just before WWI till just after WW2.

    1. Dear Deborah,

      I’m thrilled that your mother read the book – thank you for lending it to her – and very interested in her wartime experiences & how they relate to the novel’s accuracy.

      This comes at a useful time, since I am just this week going through the text to make corrections for the paperback version. I’d already caught “Jeeps”, which I agree is an anachronism, but hairspray and poster paint are news to me – I will research further, and correct them in the PB is necessary. Huge thanks to your mother for that. I think avocados can stay – I was amazed to discover what was on the menu at the Ritz, despite everything.

      I’m honoured to have kind & reflective readers like you & your mother. Thanks and all good wishes,
      Chris

    2. I have just read “Little Bee” and found it quite an “eye-opener”. Can’t wait to read “Everyone Brave is Forgiven”. Just a short comment from one born in London in 1942; my parents told me many stories of their war times in bombed out London. This is the small comment: I believe we called hair spray “hair lacquer” (aptly named), and it was in a non aerosol spray container. Thank you again for your very fascinating stories.

    3. Just looked up history of hairspray (I’m compulsive like that) First produced in aerosol cans in 1948 apparently, after they were used for insecticides during the war.
      Loving the book, the evocation of the time and place – my mother was in London then – and the amazing use of language.

  8. I have just finished “Everyone Brave” and I can’t express the emotions I felt as I read this exceptional piece of work. Well done Chris. I hope it makes the list for “Canada Reads” so everyone here gets to partake of such a great book. I definitely can say it has been one of my best reads in many years. Congrats to you and thanks should also be given to your friend Matt.
    Keep it up please. I have to run and brag about my new author to all my family (we are all great readers) and friends.
    Thanks again.

  9. Hi Chris,

    What a wonderful read. Your letters do not form words on a page; they seemingly migrate to each other as the need arises, from simple elegance to the heart of feeling. What a tremendous joy it was to read ‘Everyone brave is forgiven’. The previous books will now be at the top of my ‘must read’ list. Thank you for bringing language alive once again. God Bless.

    Steve Kerr

  10. Hi Chris,
    I have read Little Bee and Everyone Brave Is Forgiven.
    I was riveted by both of them and will go on to read the others.
    Thank you.

  11. Hello Chris

    I just finished Everyone Brave and loved it, as I have loved all your books. I heard you interviewed on National Radio here in New Zealand and it was such a pleasure to hear your voice. I don’t think Alistair’s infected hand and Hilda’s gift of life to Mary will ever leave me… what a treat to be taken to blitzed London and sieged Malta these last few nights – sounds weird but I couldn’t wait to be transported there! I hope you make it to Auckland for a visit – who knows what story you would make of us!

    Kind regards and thanks
    Louise

  12. Loved loved loved this book!
    Have been struggling to find good authors, I’m usually serial killer bound!
    It made me laugh and cry. I’m not very good at writing reviews, but I had to write to let you know I haven’t enjoyed a book like yours in ages!
    I wish I knew what the future held for little Zachary, he was such a hero to me, especially looking after Mary. I must admit it left me a little melancholic not knowing if Mary and Alistair stayed together; it would have been so lovely for them to get away from London with Zachary in tow!!
    I never knew any of my grandparents but I believe my maternal grandfather fought in WW2.
    The older I become the more I love reading about history, especially both WW1 and WW2. The bravery and selflessness our ancestors went through always leaves me so very sad and angry that us humans never learn from the horrors of war.
    Your book has left a mark, you have a great gift, I am envious!
    Thank you Chris
    Now I’m off to read more of your amazing works, any suggestions which one I try next?
    Kindest regards
    Elaine

  13. I am in utter awe of your book “Everyone Brave is Forgiven”, and would like to extend my gratitude for this work. I was profoundly moved by the writing style, your choice of wording, and the depth and range of human psychology you managed to portray within the characters. Although I am a stranger to you, I feel so proud of you, in that the talent, sensitivity, skill, and dedication necessary to actualize this accomplishment must be God-given, though operated through, and by you.
    Congratulations, thank you, and I very much look forward to reading more.

  14. Hi Chris,
    As usual, I’m left in awe at your personality. You are such a beautiful human being. For you to spare time and reply your readers here enthralls me and I applaud you for that.

    I boast about you here in Nigeria, and I tell people that Chris Cleave is one author that takes his readers to a cliff and is the only authorized person to guide them down the cliff. Else, they’d have some bruises. Lol

    INCENDIARY, LITTLE BEE & GOLD were excellent books for me. Unputdownable so to say. I even almost pushed duties forward just to get done with each.

    I just finished ALL THE LIGHT WE CANNOT SEE BY ANTHONY DOERR some minutes ago and it was set in WW2 like Everyone brave…. I enjoyed it.

    Hopefully, you’d deliver in this new born – EVERY ONE BRAVE is FORGIVEN. I always feed on the goodreads review and I think it’s having a good spot on the mind of readers.

    Keep on Sir,
    THANKGOD EBOH

  15. Hello Chris,
    I have read and enjoyed all your books immensely,and have just finished Everyone Brave is Forgiven.I have never felt compelled to thank an author before,but I want to thank you for taking me to another time and place.I feel a bit disorientated,a bit unsettled,but in a good way !
    I have a photo taken in 1915 of my paternal grandfather sitting on his mother’s knee,next to his father in his naval uniform,in Malta.That same year,on the 16th January,my maternal grandfather was born prematurely when his mother received a telegram to say her husband had been killed in action.My grandfather survived in a shoebox in the kitchen range.Both grandfathers were in the Army,and both died in the 50’s and 60’s,so I never knew them.
    My parents met in Malta in the 1960’s,mum in the Wrns,my father in the Navy,where they had a long love affair which as he was married,came to an end.It is hard to believe that only twenty years earlier there was such pain and hunger.I was born on the 16th January 1965,and mum met my wonderful stepfather (who was born in Gibraltar in 1940) in 1967.

    It’s the invisible thread that connects us to our past,isn’t it?I have an incredible urge to visit Malta,as I did not know as much as I do now,thanks to you Chris.Keep writing your amazing novels.I hope you love writing as much as I love reading!
    Very best wishes,Tracey Bourke

  16. Hello Chris,

    All of the us a the Hampshire Writers’ Society at the University of Winchester, UK,
    are looking forward to welcoming you to the 14 June Gala meeting, 7 for 7:30 pm and to listening to your description of how this gripping and inspiration book, Everyone Brave
    is Forgiven, came to be.

    Enjoy Vancouver. My birthplace.
    Barbara
    Chairman, Hampshire Writers’ Society

    1. Hello Barbara – thank you for the invitation to join you at the Hampshire Writers’ Society. I’m very much looking forward to the evening! See you then – and all good wishes in the meantime! CC

  17. I saw the ad for your lecture in Pittsburgh on Friday, unfornutely
    I will be out of town, but I have ordered your E book EVERYONE BRAVE IS FORGIVEN. As a former history teacher, and especially of Ww2, I enjoy reading about this Great War. While aboard ship on a Med cruise on the U.S.S Hyman (DD-732) in 1954, we
    Pulled into MALTA for several days. It was a memorable experience and
    we fed a group of young people from a local orphanage in our mess hall.

    Your last name intrigues me because the word CLEAVE is one of the few
    words that has opposite meanings, i.e. “To join together” and “to tear apart.”

    1. Hi Bill, I enjoyed reading your comment – thank you! And thanks for reading Everyone Brave, too – I hope you’ll enjoy it. Do you by any chance have photos from your Malta visit in ’54? I’d be fascinated to see them. Thanks and all best – Chris

      PS Yes, I do like the family name. It has a certain built-in sense of adventure.

      1. I don’t have any pics of Malta,
        unfortunately. The only ones I took were
        In Gibralter, Naples (on a tour of Rome) where I remember the bus drive letting us get out to run the track at the site of the 1st Olympics,
        And to Vatican City. Those places I saw on that 6 month cruise is what inspired me to be a history teacher. Even though I still work part time at 82, I do find some time for reading…..I will check out some of your other books also. Keep up the great work.
        Bill

  18. I find it uncanny, how convincingly you speak through the voices of female narrators, especially in Incendiary and The Other Hand. Have to admit, was less taken by Gold, which seemed a bit more sentimental. I guess I find your brutally honest writing from the female perspective startling. Cannot wait to read your new novel. I must admit, you and Christos Tsialkos are my two favourite contemporary writers. I guess it must be the unsettling quality of your writing. I feel the outrage for the cruel twists of fate that befall your characters…. It’s odd, because both Incendiary and C.T.’s Barracuda left me feeling this way. Thank you for rocking me in my complacency…….

    1. Hi Robert, I was honoured to read this generous & interesting message from you. Thank you. Like you, I’m a big fan of Christos’s writing and have had the pleasure of meeting him a couple of times. It seems to me that he has a big heart in real life as well as on the page. I completely agree with you about Gold & if I could have my time again I would write it differently. It was the best I could do at the time, and it seemed good to me at the time, but looking back on it now I suspect it’s in my top 4 but not in my top 3. I think I’m back in the room with Everyone Brave & hope you will enjoy it! Thanks again for your great message.

      1. in the midst of “Everyone..” and gripped by it. I really am spending too much time thinking about HOW you write vs. What you write, but I find your style phenomenal – you have an internal rhythm to your prose, which remains recognizable, yet on the surface your book not be more different. It’s this ability to sneak into personalized voices and remain consistent with it. True mastery. WOW. Am this close to becoming a Chris Cleave groupie. Thus far, the only person I have been a groupie of was Anne Carson. Do you know of her?

  19. I am almost finished a review copy of Everyone Brave and hadn’t realised it was loosely based on your grandparents’ story. Amazing to see photos of them on this page. Brings their story even more to life. And how wonderful still to have their letters.

  20. Hello Chris,

    I’m waiting very curious for your new novel, as I like your intersting stories. When can we expect to get here in Germany? Couldn’t find anything about it. I hope soon??

    1. Hello Beate, thank you for your kind question. I’m delighted to report that Everyone Brave is Forgiven will be published in German by DTV. It is currently being worked on by my longstanding German translator, the excellent Susanne Goga-Klinkenberg. I’m afraid I don’t yet know the exact publication date, but I will post on this website and on Twitter @chriscleave as soon as I do. I hope you’ll enjoy the book! Thanks and all good wishes – Chris

  21. Hello – I am an editor and wondering why the ‘is’ in your title is not capitalized? Was this a purposeful editorial choice?

    1. To Julie Berger – Hello Julie and thank you for a very good question. From my POV it was simply an aesthetic choice. It is equally good, I think, to capitalise the shorter words in a title or to leave them lowercase. The canonical exception is to capitalise all verbs even if they are short – but my eye didn’t like the title with a title case “Is”, so I kept it lowercase.

  22. Chris: First of all, I am bowled over by your replying to people who post here. Don’t feel you have to in my case since my main purpose is merely to tell you how fine I think you are. I say that rather than congratulations on your writing because after I finished Little Bee I had this moment in which I had these contrasting thoughts come to me. One was to remember all the mess we have in this country and in the world because so many of us are mean and insecure. The other was more a feeling than a thought because all the goodness that I have received in a lifetime of reading just came flooding through me. It occured to me that there will always be fine people in the world if there are books written by people like you. Thank you. Now I go on to searching for your other books and waiting eagerly for your new one. Oh, and yes, congrats!!!

  23. Hello Chris
    I’m a French guy living in Thailand and I discovered your books in Indonesia 🙂 A guy in a small Javanese bookshop recommended ‘The Other Hand’ to me, and I was totally under the spell for the next 2 days. Unputdownable ! Then I purchased ‘Incendiary’ in Bangkok and, if possible, was even more enthralled. Totally disappointed, however, by the movie, which I saw quite a bit later, but then we all know how seldom movies do justice to good novels. When it’s a masterpiece the exercise is even more risky, I guess !
    I’m very much looking forward to your new book, it feels like eagerly awaiting the arrival of a dear friend. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for your wonderful work.

  24. Chris
    Congratulations on your new book, an extraordinary novel, a tour de force, brave, confronting, and beautiful. The book I’ve been waiting for since The Other Hand. Can’t wait to sell it at Avenue Bookstore in Melbourne? Looking forward to your next book tour to Australia.
    Regards, Chris
    Avenue Bookstore, Albert Park
    Australia

  25. Hi Chris,
    Hello from Sydney, Australia. I am waiting patiently for your new novel Everyone Brave is Forgiven to arrive in April. I hope you will tour, once again, in Sydney. You are always welcome! Good luck.
    Cheers,
    Michael

    1. Thank you Michael – that’s such a kind message & I would like nothing more than to return! I *think* if I’m lucky then I will get to visit in September. Trying to wrestle the dates into shape at the moment & will let you know if & when it’s looking set. In the meantime all good wishes to you & thanks for your kind words. All best, CC

  26. Chris,
    Finally a new book. Can’t wait from Canada. How long before we are able to get it? I’ve read all your books and love how you write. Please write faster. 🙂
    I look forward to finally reading your new one.
    Thanks

    1. To Julie Wilcock – thank you – what a kind message – I like “please write faster”! “Everyone Brave” will be out in Canada on 3rd May. If you’re interested in author events I’ll be touring there from May 15th-20th (will post the events here when I have details). Thanks again, and I hope you’ll enjoy the new book – CC

      1. Hi Chris,
        I so enjoyed each one of your books. I just missed seeing you in Seattle so am hoping that you will make it to Vancouver. Definitely will preorder Everyone Brave.
        Gwen

  27. Chris, as I just woke up wandering if a new Chris Cleave novel could be on its way, I just learned there is. Will EBIF be released in The Netherlands as well? If not, I’ll be standing in your garden, hallway and parking lot till you sell me a copy yourself. Love all your work, with Gold as most surprisingly gripping. A big thanks and appreciation from your Dutch fans. Ramon Cyrus

    1. To Ramon Cyrus – ha ha, that’s great to hear – thank you! (Terms & conditions apply – please do not actually stand in my garden as it might freak out the neighbours a bit). Yes, I’m delighted to say that Everyone Brave will be published in The Netherlands by my longstanding and excellent publisher, Prometheus. I loved your message, I’m grateful to you for reading my books, and I really hope you’ll enjoy the new one! All best – CC

  28. Dear Mr. Cleave,
    I received Everyone Brave is Forgiven through NetGalley and read it last week. I have been deeply moved and am rather haunted by the scenes and characters.

    Because the experiences of the characters were inspired by your grandparents’ experiences I have thought it had to be devastating to put Mary and Tom and Alastair and Hilda through such horrors. What was it like for you as a writer to put these lovely young people in harm’s way?

    I also think it so interesting that instead of idealizing the British people, which is what we usually see in America, you show the smallness of mind in the rich, the country folk who won’t take in imperfect or different children, blatant racism, and the bureaucracy that evacuated the zoo animals before the schoolchildren.

    I expect someday the book will be made into a movie. I fear that people won’t read the book first and the movie will become a war romance and scenes like Mary’s near drowning, or Simonson’s tasting the jam, will lose their impact.

    Best wishes, Nancy

    1. To Nancy – Thank you very much for reading Everyone Brave and for your thoughtful & interesting message. Yes, it was an intense experience to write it. In fact in my early versions I gave the characters the real names of my family members, before changing them in the later drafts. This was an important rule I made for myself if I was going to write a wartime book – it forced me to remember in every line that the people of that generation were and are real, and loved, and that they exist as human beings and not just as ciphers to play out some notion of bravery. I think that approach also let me get past some of the layers of nostalgia that have turned our collective idea of the war into false memory in some respects. I didn’t want the novel to be polemic or iconoclastic, but I did want it to be emotionally honest, which meant navigating issues of race and social inequality that are more often redacted. I think it’s a more compelling story for that. To your point about an eventual movie – it’s a long story and would certainly need to be radically cut. That can sometimes be done very well if the filmmaker selects one strand of the story to tell, rather than attempting to squeeze the whole quart into a pint pot. I always think that’s a good problem to have – far better than the alternative of having a two-hour feature film to fill, and nothing to say in it! Thanks again for reading the book & for your interesting reflections on it. All best – CC

  29. Hello Mr. Cleave

    I’ve read a ton of books in my lifetime, of all genres. I’ve been moved by many of them. But never have I read something as powerful and as analytical of the human condition as your novel ‘Gold’. ‘Bridge to Terabithia’ by Katherine Paterson and ‘My Sister’s Keeper’ by Jodi Picoult come close to the level of excellence you have achieved in your writing. I consider myself lucky to have come across this book, while searching for books on Olympic athletes and the Olympics, which is also a passion of mine.
    Please continue to write like this. You are a force of good in this world, in these dark and desperate times. thank you.

    1. To Lashlane Cooray – thank you, what a kind message. I’m glad you liked ‘Gold’. It hasn’t been as popular as my other novels but I still have a soft spot for it. It was my first novel written in the third person and I think that at certain moments – if you’ll forgive the cycling analogy – you can see that it still has its training wheels on. But I do try to push myself further into human psychology with each novel, and I like that about ‘Gold’. Despite its faults it still feels to me like an honest exploration of that great dilemma at the heart of all of us: what will we choose, friendship or success, when we really can’t have both? Thanks again for your generous message – you sound like someone who makes good choices. All best – CC

  30. Hi Chris,

    I would just like to say, out of every work I have read by a writer (and I am an English student so I have read an awful lot!), your style and imaginative plots have to be applauded. In my eyes, you’re one of the greats, and a favourite writer of mine. Incendiary still haunts me.

    Charlotte

    1. To Charlotte Maher – thanks enormously for your kind verdict on my work. I don’t know if I deserve it, but I’m certainly delighted to have it! It means a lot to me – and calms my nerves a little when I sit down to write. All good wishes to you – CC

  31. Hi Chris,
    My name is Cindy. I am in the United States. Your book has been on my book shelf for years, but I am not quite sure how I acquired it. I picked it up last week and I just finished it this morning. It was a great read and I shared it on my Facebook page for others to read and enjoy. I love that you have included a reading group guide! I look forward to reading more of your work.

    Cindy

  32. Dear Chris,

    I am a member of the amazon vine programme and a top reviewer (125 today) with many years of reading and reviewing books behind me. I was offered a copy of Everyone Brave by the vine list and have just finished it. Such a substantial book requires some mulling over in order to do it justice in my review. As I was reading a proof copy I wanted to get in touch before writing. I wonder how much will be altered in the published copy. I realise that for the writing to stay in character throughout 1939 to 1942 required much research and an ear for howlers. The only one I picked up was the use of the word ‘disc’ for what I am sure would have been gramophone record, and the unreality around standing men drinks for stuff when your wallet had apparently just been stolen. (page 175 of my red copy). Also the perhaps intended twice use of the sound of coal being tumbled into the purdonium… Don’t think I am being picky but things do sometimes jump out! Otherwise all is admirable, the way you have brought in Malta lifts the story out of the ordinary and introduces fresh meat what otherwise might look like old boiled ones or should I say tea leaves! It would be great to hear back, Kind Regards, Katharine Kirby (65 brought up in SE London, played on bombsites, knew about peasoupers…)

    1. Hi Katharine,
      Thank you very much indeed for reading Everyone Brave, and for reviewing it. I really appreciate that you’ve taken the time to get in touch, too. I’m glad you didn’t find too many clangers. I did a lot of research, as you correctly intuit, but some anachronisms will always get through. Between me and my various publishers, we picked up a couple of dozen errors in between the proof copy, which is the version you have, and what will be the final text. My greatest embarrassment was my use of the modern Waterloo Bridge in the year before it was actually completed – thankfully, my excellent proof reader picked that up. Thank you very much for flagging “gramophone disc” vs “gramophone record”. I do have some early contemporary references to “disc”, but I will now go back and try to find the point at which the use of “disc” became widespread. If necessary I will go back to the text and fix it. Where I will gratefully agree with you is that Alistair shouldn’t pay for drinks after his wallet is gone – thank you, I will fix that! I’m glad you enjoyed the book and I’m grateful for your very kind & helpful comments. All best – CC

      1. Dear Mr Cleave,
        I randomly picked ‘Anyone brave’ at Gatwick Airport because I had read ‘The other hand’ – thoroughly enjoyed it – and needed a new book to read.
        What a wonderful novel! I found it very hard to put it down when I had other things to do and found myself constantly looking for excuses to turn back to it.
        What I like first and foremost is the way you bring your characters to life, the vocabulary and stylistic devices you use. As a German teacher of English I had considered my vocabulary quite wide, but you taught me otherwise, and I loved turning to my dictionary and enlarging my vocabulary in the process.
        The open ending is what I also love about the book, not a romantic ‘and they lived happily ever after’. I would have liked though to find out what happened to Zachary….
        Thank you very much for both the books I have read so far – as the summer holiday has just started I am now going to turn to Gold or Incendiary, I haven’t made up my mind yet.
        I hope very much that you will be invited – and accept the invitation – to LitCologne International Literature Festival soon so I can attend a reading.
        By the way I do not share Ms. Kirby’s criticism about Alistair’s buying his men drinks without a wallet- I understand this as a flashback which describes what happened before the attacks described.
        Kind regards
        Claudia Stieglitz-Lenfers

  33. I have chosen Little Bee for my book club to read but they are having trouble sourcing it in England. I was given it by my Aunt and have since passed it on to someone else. I LOVED it so much and am really keen for us to read and discuss it. Could you tell me where I can get four copies asap!!!

    Many thanks

    1. Hi Alexandra, with any luck you’ll be able to find LITTLE BEE in any good bookshop in England, where it will appear under its alternative title of THE OTHER HAND. Thank you for your kind words about the novel, and thanks for picking it for your book club. I hope everyone will enjoy it! All best – CC

  34. I picked up ‘Gold’ from a book exchange in the Iguana Perdida, a lovely hostel at Lago Atitlan in Guatemala. Written inside the book was “Read this, it’s going to struck holes in your soul and then fill them”. I was intrigued. That book was the first book ever that gave me the feeling of not wanting to stop reading but at the same time not being able to read any further. The suspense, the emotional grip the book had on me was unreal. An incredible experience reading it. Safe to say, you are my new favourite author. I’m looking at ‘The Other Hand’ at this moment and I’m definitely going to pick this book up as well!

    Cheers, keep on doing the good work :)!

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