The Brave by Nicholas Evans is the author’s first book in five years, and while it is a departure from the wilderness and nature that feature in some of his other titles (e.g. The Horse Whisperer, The Smoke Jumper), it retains strong characterisation. Several people complete journeys of discovery and there are very mixed destinations.
Nicholas Evans skilfully intertwines the stories of 1950’s England and Hollywood, with present day America. The constant running through both is Tom Bedford. In earlier times he was Tommy, bullied at boarding school, and taking refuge in a fantasy world of TV Westerns. Today he is Tom, slightly bitter, living alone and estranged from his son who is fighting in Iraq.
Despite the fact that (for me at least) parts of the book were telegraphed, it still kept me entertained and interested to the end. Characters were developed, innocence destroyed and with everyone confronting their demons, true bravery was discovered.
It wasn’t the book I was expecting from Nicholas Evans. It reminded me slightly of the Sidney Sheldon novels of Hollywood that I used to devour. But it had an innocence and naivety to the storytelling which came from much of the story being told from the viewpoint of the younger Tommy and this lifted it above some of the other books and sagas which use the darker side of Hollywood as their base. It is well worth a read.
As well as being available in print, The Brave will also shortly be available in audio book in the Library. Or request some of the author's other titles by clicking on this author link.