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 Nightingale, Beneath a Scarlet Sky and My Name is Eva.
Readers love When We Were Brave:
‘Wow! Just wow! This book kept me on the edge of my seat right from the get-go!... [An] amazing story.’ Goodreads Reviewer, 5 stars
‘Fantastic… Historical fiction at its best. Characters that you fall in love with, a story you will hate to end.’ NetGalley Reviewer
‘Totally captivating… About the bravery of the silent heroes of WWII, the secret agents who intercepted codes… A wonderful, compelling story that will grip you to the very end, it will break your heart but it will also leave you with a sense of gratitude for these selfless individuals. I can't stop thinking about this story.’ Krafti Reader, 5 stars
‘I [am] hooked on this FANTASTIC author. When We Were Brave is another OUTSTANDING piece of fantastic writing… I have nothing but total admiration.’ Goodreads Reviewer, 5 stars
‘Mesmerising and captivated me with every turn of the page… Absolutely heart-breaking… Filled with sadness, love, courage and sacrifice – I couldn’t put this book down.’ Stardust Book Reviews, 5 stars
‘A heartbreaking tale of war, love, loss, betrayal and courage.’ Goodreads Reviewer, 5 stars
‘Oh my goodness I loved this book!!!… A beautifully woven time-slip novel… This story and its characters will stay with me.’ Goodreads Reviewer, 5 stars
‘I LOVED THIS BOOK!… Vivi is a fierce heroine and represents the bravery that everyone had to have during the war… I recommend this book to everyone that loves historical fiction.’ NetGalley Reviewer, 5 stars
‘A truly heartbreaking and inspirational read. I was gripped from page one and literally flew through the pages.’ Jaynie’s Book Reviews, 5 stars
‘After reading When We Were Brave [Suzanne Kelman] is officially added to my autobuy author list… For a book to bring tears to my eyes it has to be amazing... I highly recommend this one to anyone who loves WWII fiction and even those that normally do not… You will not be disappointed.’ Goodreads Reviewer, 5 stars
A very well written story of love and sacrifices. So sad it breaks your heart
When We were Brave
Could not put the book down. 5 stars, a must read.
Great story, terrible writing
I am always so impressed with the stories that writers come up with and this book was no exception. The story line for this book was what kept me reading. I wanted to know how it would end. However, the writing was terrible. This author lacks understanding of basic high school grammar. There were sentence fragments, frequent improper use of pronouns and prepositions, and glaring omission of words from sentences. Once when describing a military honor a character had received, the author referred to it as a metal instead of a medal. And it is either “The Second World War” or “World War II” not “World War Two”! So many errors that it also made me wonder about the editor/proofreader. It was hard to keep reading this book because it was so poorly written. I will never read another book by this author. Great story though if you don’t care about the quality of the writing.