December, 1940. As German bombs fall on Southampton, the city’s residents flee to the surrounding villages. In Upton village, amid the chaos, newly-married Ellen Parr finds a girl sleeping, 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 realisation that Pamela was never theirs to keep…
A story of courage and kindness, hardship and friendship, We Must be Brave explores the fierce love we feel for our children and the astonishing power of that love to endure.
This gorgeous book blew me away. So heartfelt, had my emotions up and down like a yo-yo!
We follow Ellen Parr a wonderfully likeable character who finds a little girl called Pamela, alone, asleep at the back of a bus just arrived from Southampton. After some time trying to work out who the little girl is and who she is meant to be with, Ellen takes her home for safety as they are caught up in the chaos of other people, displaced by wartime bombing, that are being temporally re-homed in the village.
However, locating Pamela’s parents does not prove quick or easy so Ellen and her husband, who have no children of their own, end up keeping Pamela for some time, knowing that one day she will be returned back to her family. Of course a bond develops and when Pamela’s father is finally located the decision made about the little girl leaving is heartbreaking and a sad and wonderfully written part of the book.
We also follow Ellen as a child and Pamela as an adult which rounds the story up wonderfully giving you more of an insight into Ellen and a wonderful conclusion to the story.
A captivating read. If you like Ruth Hogan books or Dear Mrs Bird by A J Pearce you will love We Must Be Brave.
Thank you to @NaomiMantin for the advance readers copy.