Thursday, February 27, 2020

BLOG TOUR - When We Were Brave

Today is my post for the Blog Tour for When We Were Brave by Suzanne Kelman.


The face of 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, Under a Scarlet Sky and My Name is Eva.

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Title:   When We Were Brave
Author:  Suzanne Kelman
Genre:   Historical Fiction
Publisher:  Bookouture
Format:  Kindle ARC
No. of Pages:   312
Date of Publication:   February 24, 2020
My Rating:   5 Stars

Historical Fiction seems to be my go to these past months, and When We Were Brave ranks right up there at the top. This affecting story is told in both 1944 Cornwall and present day London. Sophie finds a photograph of her great-aunt Vivi from World War II. This is very confusing to Sophie because this picture and the memories she has been told her entire life do not match up.

During the war, Vivienne Hamilton eloped to Paris with a Nazi POW. This was something her family was ashamed of, and that is why. until Sophie happened upon the picture, Vivi's name had never been discussed. 

Sophie studies the photograph, and she gets help when she can, and it becomes more and more evident that Vivi's story was simply one of love. It seems more and more that Vivi was involved in so much more, and that might be why she apparently disappeared. As Sophie has taken her questions to Cornwall, and talks to various people secrets are coming to light. 

Whether the story was being told in the past, or in the present, I was captivated throughout. The war effort was at full swing, and the spy network had an amazing agenda, as it turned out. Sophie's story was intriguing as well. In great fashion, Suzanne Kelman has penned another fantastic story. 

When reading historical fiction there is always something to learn about during that period of war. In this case it was the complicated spy network, the British SOE. Just as I will never forget the other book I read by her, The View Across the Rooftops, this is one I will not forget either. 

Many thanks to Bookouture and to NetGalley for this ARC for review. This is my honest opinion.


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.  


  1. These types of books seem to be very popular at the moment.

  2. Wow - this sounds like a book I would adore. Thanks for putting it on my radar.

  3. I'm not a historical fiction fan, but I could see myself enjoying the present day parts of this!

  4. I've enjoyed this author before - glad you do too

  5. I always like books that visit two different timelines, as long as it's easy to keep them straight. I haven't read this author yet, but I am adding this book to my TBR :)

    Happy reading!
    Megan | Ginger Mom & Company

  6. Not my type of read but glad you enjoyed it.

  7. i think i will enjoy this read.. thanks for the intro