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Everyone Brave Is Forgiven Summary & Study Guide

Chris Cleave
This Study Guide consists of approximately 42 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Everyone Brave Is Forgiven.
This section contains 637 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
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Everyone Brave Is Forgiven Summary & Study Guide Description

Everyone Brave Is Forgiven Summary & Study Guide includes comprehensive information and analysis to help you understand the book. This study guide contains the following sections:

This detailed literature summary also contains Quotes and a Free Quiz on Everyone Brave Is Forgiven by Chris Cleave.

NOTE: This study guide specifically refers to the May, 2016, Simon and Schuster first hardcover edition.

Everyone Brave is Forgiven is a historical novel by Chris Cleave. The book heavily fictionalizes the World War II experiences and the romance of his grandparents in London and Malta. When Germany begins tearing across Europe and England declares war on Germany, eighteen-year-old Mary North leaves finishing school to apply for work at the War Office. Initially, she is assigned to teach a class at Hawley Street School. Since London is expected to be bombed, Mary must prepare the class for evacuation into the countryside where the city children will be quartered with rural families.

Meanwhile, twenty-three year-old Tom Shaw, a kind and shy young man, works at the Education Authority. He does not believe that the war will occur. His roommate and best friend is twenty-four year-old Alistair Heath, an art conservator. Alistair has already enlisted and is prepared to fight for his country. After Mary is fired from her teaching job because she has been getting too friendly with students –including Zachary Lee, a black kid –she appeals to Tom for a new assignment. In a short time, the two are dating. Tom secures a new class for Mary, which consists of kids unable to placed in the country, such as Zachary. Alistair deploys to France, where he battles the Germans until the Allied forces must be evacuated by ship from Dunkirk.

Back in London, Alistair is promoted to captain and reassigned to a Royal Artillery regiment. Tom and Mary entice Alistair to come out for a double date along with Mary’s friend, Hilda. It is the first time Alistair meets Mary, and he is floored by her. London then comes under repeated bombing by the Germans. Alistair is recalled and sent to garrison the Mediterranean island of Malta against the combined forces of Germany and Italy. Tom, who is enraged by the bombing of London, tries to join. However, he is denied enlistment by the Royal Air Force due to the importance of the position he already occupies. During Christmas, Mary’s school is bombed. The blast kills students, parents, and Tom. Only Mary and Zachary survive.

Mary goes on to work with Hilda in the ambulance corps, bringing the wounded and dead back to hospital. During one such outing, Mary is severely injured and becomes addicted to morphine. At the same time, Malta comes under repeated bombardment and blockade by the Germans, who hope to starve out Alistair and the British forces. However, letters between Mary and Alistair help them to keep going, and their flirting with one another through words gives them both hope for love.

On Malta, Alistair befriends a fellow captain named Simonson, and the two men watch out for one another. When Alistair is bitten by a downed German pilot while trying to prevent a mob of locals from tearing him apart, Alistair’s hand becomes infected. Ultimately, the infections costs him his entire arm which has to be removed. Simonson helps evacuate Alistair from the island ahead of schedule. This lands both Simonson and Alistair in trouble.

At home in London, with Zachary’s help, Mary is able to fight off her morphine addiction. Hilda, who has distanced herself from Mary because of the addiction, now reconnects with Mary. Released from prison for his being absent without leave from Malta, Alistair returns to London. He and Mary arrange for Hilda to begin corresponding with Simonson, and the two quickly become friends. Mary is thrilled to see the arrival of American troops in London, knowing they will turn the tide of the war and save the world as they always do. She and Alistair walk the ruins of London and look forward to a future of love and hope.

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This section contains 637 words
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