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We Must Be Brave cover art

We Must Be Brave

Written by: Frances Liardet
Narrated by: Jayne Entwistle,Juliet Mills
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Publisher's Summary

The New York Times best seller

"A powerful story that proves how love itself requires courage." (Delia Owens, author of Where the Crawdads Sing)

Spanning the sweep of the 20th 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.

A woman. A war. The child who changed everything.

December 1940. As German bombs fall on Southampton, England, during World War II, the city's residents flee to the surrounding villages. In Upton village, amid the chaos, newly married Ellen Parr finds a girl asleep, unclaimed at the back of an empty bus. Little Pamela, it seems, is entirely alone.

Ellen has always believed she does not want children, but when she takes Pamela into her home, the child cracks open the past Ellen thought she had escaped and the future she and her husband, Selwyn, had dreamed for themselves. As the war rages on, love grows where it was least expected, surprising them all. But with the end of the fighting comes the realization that Pamela was never theirs to keep. Spanning the sweep of the 20th 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.

©2019 Frances Liardet (P)2019 Penguin Audio

What the critics say

"Be prepared to surrender - to Liardet's gorgeous prose, her haunting storyline, and the question that will lodge in your heart long after you’ve finished: What would I have done? For anyone who has ever loved a child, this stirring debut will work its way indelibly into the folds of your memory, and of your heart.” (Georgia Hunter, New York Times best-selling author of We Were the Lucky Ones)

“Dazzling... As a testament to parental love and its relationship to the heartbreaking, healing, almost ungraspable passage of time, We Must Be Brave is a great success: richly observed, lovingly drawn, and determinedly clear-eyed to the last.” (Guardian, UK)

“Vividly portrayed.... Liardet reminds us that mother-daughter love can arise from thrown-together hearts during the cruelest rubble of war. Through every scene, we see the tattered socks, the doll faces, the honey-smells of baby skin, but mostly we feel the strength and endurance of heart-crushing love. The war and weather-etched faces and life-long relationships of the villagers show us that real family has little to do with worn down definitions. This is a powerful story that proves how love itself requires courage.” (Delia Owens, New York Times best-selling author of Where the Crawdads Sing

“Moving.... Readers will be captivated by Ellen’s story, which is bolstered by a swift plot and characters who realistically and memorably grow.” (Publishers Weekly)

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What listeners say about We Must Be Brave

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I couldn't love this book more.

I thought this book was great. I really loved both Penny & Pamela.....it held my interests and you do truly learn to love all the characters. An insight to war time from a completely different viewpoint. My heart ached and tears came at the most dramatic part.....but I wont give it away.

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Disappointing

Lots of talking … disconnected. I was glad when it finished. Don’t waste your time. Good to make me sleep.

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A rare and wonderful read

One of those rare books that makes you sad when it ends. Rich characters, accurate history and an absolutely believable story line. I need more by this author!

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