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We must be brave
2018
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  Library Journal Review

Ellen Parr comes of age in England during World War II and faces grueling challenges as she struggles to survive and find her way. Ellen and her mother were left in poverty after her father, a swindler, took his own life. The descriptions of cold, deprivation, and hunger that plague Ellen and her mother are most vivid and leave listeners shivering. Ellen, with the help of friends, manages to attend business school and find a job as a typist. She marries a fine man and lives a life of friendship and service to her community. The novel spans the 1930s to the 21st century, and the author skillfully develops the characters and examines their interrelationships. Central to the story is Ellen's adoption, albeit for a few years, of a young girl who was separated from her mother during a bombing raid. Ellen grows to love young Pamela, and when the girl leaves to live with her father in Ireland, the pain is excruciating. The exquisite narration by Jane Entwistle and Juliet Mills will have listeners weeping. VERDICT The novel will be a hit with anyone who enjoys historical fiction and wants to dive deep into characters' lives and emotions. ["Recommended for historical fiction fans seeking slow-paced, emotional reads": LJ Winter 2018 review of the Putnam hc.]--Patricia Ann Owens, formerly with Illinois Eastern Community Coll., Mt. Carmel

  Publishers Weekly Review

British author and translator Liardet's moving American debut, set in WWII England, follows a childless woman discovering joy after she begins caring for a young girl. Ellen Parr is married to Selwyn, owner of the local mill in the village of Upton, near Southampton. In 1940, while helping evacuees of a nearby bombing who have arrived at Upton by bus, Ellen meets Pamela Pickering, a young child left alone on the bus. Ellen treats Pamela as the daughter she never had (Selwyn is impotent) for the next few years, until Pamela is eight and a relative of Pamela's finds her and takes her to live with family members. Though distraught by Pamela's departure, Ellen survives the devastation around her with the love and support of Selwyn, her childhood friend Lucy Horne, and other villagers who have been a constant presence in Ellen's life. Over 30 years later, Ellen befriends Penny Lacey, a lonely young boarding school student in Upton. Ellen glimpses similarities between Pamela and Penny, and they form a life-changing friendship. Readers will be captivated by Ellen's story, which is bolstered by a swift plot and characters who realistically and memorably grow. Agent: Deborah Schneider, Gelfman Schneider/ ICM Partners. (Feb.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Summary
THE NATIONAL BESTSELLER<br> <br> Spanning the sweep of the twentieth century, We Must Be Brave explores the fierce love that we feel for our children and the power of that love to endure. Beyond distance, beyond time, beyond life itself.<br> <br> "This stirring debut will work its way indelibly into your heart." --Georgia Hunter, author of We Were the Lucky Ones <br> <br> A woman. A war. The child who changed everything. <br> <br> December 1940. In the disorderly evacuation of Southampton, England, newly married Ellen Parr finds a small child asleep on the backseat of an empty bus. No one knows who little Pamela is.<br> <br> Ellen professed not to want children with her older husband, and when she takes Pamela into her home and rapidly into her heart, she discovers that this is true: Ellen doesn't want children. She wants only Pamela. Three golden years pass as the Second World War rages on. Then one day Pamela is taken away, screaming. Ellen is no stranger to sorrow, but when she returns to the quiet village life she's long lived, she finds herself asking: In a world changed by war, is it fair to wish for an unchanged heart?<br> <br> In the spirit of We Were the Lucky Ones and The Nightingale , here is a novel about courage and kindness, hardship and friendship, and the astonishing power of love.
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