Sunday, March 5, 2017

What have I been reading…Everyone Brave is Forgiven

I was so impressed in January when a friend sent me an annotated bibliography of all the books he read in 2016.  Now when I belonged to a book club I used to write a response to each book so I actually would have something to refer to when we had our book club discussion.  Also it gave me a record of my reading.  And I knew that writing does clarify one's reading, at least that is what I told my students at all levels.

This blog became a place I could talk about my reading, often children's, young adult novels and picture books.  But in retirement I have slacked off on this.

Because everyone knows I like to read, people often do ask for recommendations and I really hadn't had that many books that had been sweeping me away lately.  I had one book I had begun in the summer and then it was giving me nightmares although it was a good book so I had set it aside.  I began a book recommended to me when I went away for a short holiday and enjoyed it, read half of it, and then haven't picked it up again in two months.

I read a lot of detective novels.  In fact I have one going now.  I also quite happily read chick lit.  And I still happily read young adult books.  I am also not an organized reader.  I don't put holds on library books often.  I often rely on fast reads at the library.  And this is how I read Everyone Brave is Forgiven.  I had heard Chris Cleave interviewed about this book telling how the idea for it came from one of his grandfather's who was part of the Siege of Malta and his two grandmothers, one a teacher and one an ambulance driver in the Second World War.  Little Bee, one of his earlier books, was one that simply swept me away so I was thrilled to see this as a fast read.  That means you have to return it in a week or pay $1 a day.  No renewals usually.

This was a book that I couldn't stop reading.  I was swept away by the story as I watched how the war changed each of the main characters.  I always was struck about how when I met my mother in law at my age she had been a nurse in the Italian campaign.  Many of my friends' parents had spent their youths in the war.  The Vietnam war raged on in my youth but it didn't really touch me directly.

This novel puts you in London during the Blitz.  It puts you in Malta when they are trapped there by the Germans.  The book is also unique in that it looks at class and racial issues and even drug addiction.  
I definitely was swept away...

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