In Chris Cleave’s newest novel, on the day England enters World War II Mary North goes straight to the War Office and signs up. Mary is certain she’d be a marvelous spy, but when she is bewilderingly made a teacher, she finds herself protecting the children her country would rather forget. Tom Shaw decides to ignore the war—until he learns his roommate Alistair Heath has unexpectedly enlisted. And when Mary and Alistair meet, it is love, as well as war, that will test them in ways they could not have imagined. 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. Cleave is also the author of Gold, Incendiary, and the #1 New York Times bestseller Little Bee.
Also set during World War II, Jennifer Ryan’s debut novel, The Chilbury Ladies’ Choir, follows the paths of five women as the war forces them to defy their vicar’s stuffy edict to shutter the church’s choir in the absence of men and instead “carry on singing.” Told through letters and journals, we learn about each choir member and come to see how the strength each finds in the choir’s collective voice reverberates in her individual life. Based on Ryan’s grandmother’s stories of the war, which often involved hilarious happenings in the dark blackout streets or in air raid shelters, The Chilbury Ladies’ Choir is about how women became stronger through the process of having to work and stick together to survive.