We can’t choose who we love.
We can choose who we fight for.
‘A powerful story that proves how love itself requires courage’ Delia Owens, author of Where the Crawdads Sing
‘Storytelling at its best’ Sarah Winman
‘The perfect book club read’ AJ Pearce
Ellen Parr has always been sure she never wanted children. But when she finds a young girl asleep and unclaimed at the back of a bus fleeing the Blitz in Southampton, everything she once believed is overturned.
As she takes Pamela into her home, the little girl cracks open the past Ellen thought she had escaped and the future she thought she wanted, for in uncertain times it seems the only certainty is love.
But with the end of the fighting comes the realization that Pamela was never hers to keep…
We Must Be Brave is an epic and intensely moving novel about the ways we rescue one other, and the astonishing tenacity of the human heart.
‘This is storytelling at its best. Wise, generous and captivating’ Sarah Winman, author of Tin Man
‘Oh, I loved this book so much! It’s strikingly authentic, beautifully written, and a wonderfully touching depiction of the families people create for themselves when blood relatives let them down. It broke my heart and glued it together again. Just perfect’ Jill Mansell, author of Rumour Has It
‘Through years of plenty and poverty, war and peace, Ellen’s story is endlessly affecting, peopled by beautifully drawn, endearing characters. A very special, quietly spectacular novel.’
‘The writing is often dazzling – a child’s voice is “clear, piping, like a twig peeled of its bark” – and this, too, lifts what might have been a sentimental story into different territory altogether … We Must Be Brave is a great success: richly observed, lovingly drawn and determinedly clear-eyed to the last’ Melissa Harrison, Guardian
‘A quiet masterpiece of love and loss, ‘abandoned’ children and rescue and courage … This beautifully written novel had me sobbing, yet addicted’ Bel Mooney, Daily Mail
‘A book about fundamentally decent people doing good things and a story both epic and intimate, so tenderly written it moved me to tears’ Elizabeth Day, author of The Party
‘A wonderful novel. A beautifully written story of love and loss, with thoughtfully crafted characters and so much to think about long after you’ve finished reading it. It is one of those novels you can talk about for hours – the perfect book club read.’
AJ Pearce, author of Dear Mrs Bird
‘I loved this book. We Must Be Brave pulls you in right from the start and stays with you long after you have finished it. Such confident storytelling and perfect attention to detail is really rare’ Esther Walker, onthespike.com
About the author
Frances Liardet is a child of the children of the Second World War. She has an MA in Creative Writing from the University of East Anglia and studied Arabic at Oxford before traveling to Cairo to work as a translator. She currently lives in Somerset, England, with her husband and daughter, and runs a summer writing session called Bootcamp. We Must Be Brave is her second novel.