Reading

When We Were Young & Brave – Hazel Gaynor | A Book Review

When We Were Young & Brave - Hazel Gaynor

Title: When We Were Young & Brave

Author: Hazel Gaynor

Genre: Historical Fiction

About the book: It’s a novel inspired by true events set in China during World War 2. The story follows a group of teachers and students from a missionary school who are sent to a Japanese internment camp.

I received an advanced reader copy from HarperCollins Publishers in exchange for an honest review.

First impressions: I haven’t read any historical novel about the wars set in China, so I was intrigued. The title and cover lend readers an idea of what to expect. Also, the beginning caught my attention and gave me chills.

Characters: The main protagonists are Elspeth Kent, a teacher who wants to return home to England, and Nancy Plummer, a ten year old British girl. I grew to admire both of them as well as some of the secondary characters.

Quote:

“And yet there is a curel irony in that the memories I would rather forget are precisely the ones that I recall most often.”

Writing: It’s a little more than 400 pages. The story is told in first person alternating point of view between Elspeth and Nancy. There’s also some additional content at the end of the book with a brief history of the Girl Guides, a list of resources for further reading, and a reading group guide with dicussion questions.

Final thoughts:  I enjoyed the ending. Ultimately, it’s a sad story that examines grief and loss but also kindness and hope. If you want to learn more about internment camps in China, check out When We Were Young & Brave.


Is there a book you want me to read and review? Check out my Book Review Policy.

You can add me as a friend on Goodreads to see what I’m reading.

This post contains affiliate links to Book Depository. If you make a purchase through them, I earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. Thanks!

2 thoughts on “When We Were Young & Brave – Hazel Gaynor | A Book Review

Speak your mind!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.