Tuesday, 25 February 2020

When We Were Brave by Suzanne Kelman
Release Date: 24th February 2020
Publisher: Bookouture
Genres: Historical literary fiction / saga

The face of the woman in the photograph was tilted upwards, as if enjoying the sunshine just for a moment, even as the wreckage of the bombed-out street lay behind her…

1944, Cornwall: Blinded by love, Vivienne Hamilton eloped to Paris with a Nazi prisoner-of-war, never to be seen again. A disgrace to her family, her name would not be mentioned by any of her relatives for over 75 years.

Present day, London: When Sophie discovers a photograph of her great aunt Vivi from World War Two, it throws her into a world of confusion. Because, as she learns about this secret relative, she quickly realises that the photograph doesn’t fit with her family’s story. It shows Vivi leaving an address associated with a spy network in London – a place she had no reason to be – and it is dated right before she disappeared.

Meanwhile Sophie’s own life feels as blasted and bombed as the blitzed city in the photograph she’s looking at. Her beautiful daughter – as full of joy and wild energy as Vivi had apparently once been – is gone; and Sophie’s heart has been left broken into pieces.

Retreating to the family home in rural Cornwall to seek solace from her pain and the feelings of guilt that she could have done more to protect her daughter, Sophie finds herself becoming obsessed with Vivi’s life.

But nothing can prepare Sophie for what she is about to uncover – the story of a woman who risked everything for the person she loved the most; and a secret family history that could be the key to Sophie’s own future.

A powerful, haunting and unforgettable read about love, heartbreak and betrayal set in Second World War Britain and France. Perfect for fans of The NightingaleUnder a Scarlet Sky and My Name is Eva.  

Sophie is trying to rebuild her life after a personal tragedy, the loss of her daughter and mother. She gives up her job as a corporate solicitor and working as a historical archivist for a charity its at an exhibit at the British War Museum when she stumbles across a photograph of a woman , taken in London during the blitz and who looks startlingly like a family member.  In fact, just like her. Her investigations into who this mysterious woman was are met with hurdles and family secrets. Just who is this woman that nobody wants to talk about.? Villainous Vivienne has shamed the family name with her exploits during the war. Had she really run off with a Nazi or was her role in the war just misunderstood?

Vivi is the mysterious woman and through a dual timeline we hear her story too. Vivi unwittingly signs up as a member of SOE - Special Operations Executive. She doesn't initially realise just how dangerous her missions will be but being fluent in both French and German she is an asset to the organisation during wartime. Thinking she'd just be carrying out admin tasks she'd no idea she would end up in France. On a mission! But, is she really equipped for this task? She has her doubts. Back in the present day, Sophie is doubting her own bravery.

I really enjoyed this book and the way the story was told through a dual timeline. It flowed so effortlessly and the story was flawless. I'm really enjoying stories set in this era and love the amount of research that goes into such books. When We Were Brave is no exception. The attention to detail is fantastic and I couldn't help but feel every bit of heartbreak and fear that the main characters felt. Reading about ordinary characters who were called upon to do extraordinary things during the war really is so grounding. Could you step up and do what needed to be done? Many untold stories of incredible bravery lie waiting to be discovered. This is a super book if you want to immerse yourself in a bit of mystery and war time drama. I thoroughly enjoyed it.


Author Bio

Suzanne Kelman is a 2015 Academy of Motion Pictures Nicholl Finalist, Multi-Award-Winning Screenwriter and a Film Producer. As well as working in film she is also an International Amazon Bestselling Fiction Author of the Southlea Bay Series – The Rejected Writers’ Book Club, Rejected Writers Take the Stage and The Rejected Writers’ Christmas Wedding. Born in the United Kingdom, she now resides in Washington State. 


- Copyright © 2013-2014 Brook Cottage Books - Powered by Blogger - Graphics & Blog Customization by JellydogDesign