I am surprised by how much I liked this book. Generally, I don’t read books written by men about women, but Cleave seemed to get the characters right in the world he has created. I realize avoiding novels written by men about women is a particular bias of mine, but I’m also sure that other women share this bias.
But author Chris Cleave seems to perceptively characterize the women in this “sweeping epic” about WWII, as well as the many other characters peopling his novel. In a rare nod to diversity, Cleave shines his authorial light on the plight of blacks during the London blitz, sharing a perspective I’ve not seen before. It has made me want to read more, to determine the veracity of his descriptions.
Over all, the novel sensitively depicts love, loss and courage. It shows the trials endured by ordinary people in extra-ordinary circumstances, and how they find the grace and courage to endure. Would be a good read for a book club.