We Must Be Brave.
LJ Reviews 2019 January #1
When Ellen Parr made the decision to marry an older man, she accepted that children would not be in her future and believed she was at peace with that fact. However, the discovery of a lost child left on a bus, who arrived in her quiet English village as a refugee fleeing German bombs, changes everything. Ellen is enchanted by Pamela, and three blissful years pass while authorities search for but are unable to locate the child's parents. When Pamela is eventually torn from Ellen's arms, a deep grief consumes the rest of her life. Though touted as World War II historical fiction, this tearjerker about motherhood and loss has more in common with M.L. Stedman's
PW Reviews 2018 December #1
British author and translator Liardet's moving American debut, set in WWII England, follows a childless woman discovering joy after she begins caring for a young girl. Ellen Parr is married to Selwyn, owner of the local mill in the village of Upton, near Southampton. In 1940, while helping evacuees of a nearby bombing who have arrived at Upton by bus, Ellen meets Pamela Pickering, a young child left alone on the bus. Ellen treats Pamela as the daughter she never had (Selwyn is impotent) for the next few years, until Pamela is eight and a relative of Pamela's finds her and takes her to live with family members. Though distraught by Pamela's departure, Ellen survives the devastation around her with the love and support of Selwyn, her childhood friend Lucy Horne, and other villagers who have been a constant presence in Ellen's life. Over 30 years later, Ellen befriends Penny Lacey, a lonely young boarding school student in Upton. Ellen glimpses similarities between Pamela and Penny, and they form a life-changing friendship. Readers will be captivated by Ellen's story, which is bolstered by a swift plot and characters who realistically and memorably grow. Agent: Deborah Schneider, Gelfman Schneider/ ICM Partners. (Feb.)Copyright 2018 Publishers Weekly.