All the stories died that morning … until we found the one we’d always known.
When nine-year-old Rose is diagnosed with a life-threatening illness, Natalie must use her imagination to keep her daughter alive. They begin dreaming about and seeing a man in a brown suit who feels hauntingly familiar, a man who has something for them. Through the magic of storytelling, Natalie and Rose are transported to the Atlantic Ocean in 1943, to a lifeboat, where an ancestor survived for fifty days before being rescued. Poignant, beautifully written and tenderly told, How To Be Brave weaves together the contemporary story of a mother battling to save her child’s life with an extraordinary true account of bravery and a fight for survival in the Second World War. A simply unforgettable debut that celebrates the power of words, the redemptive energy of a mother’s love … and what it really means to be brave.
Natalie’s world falls apart when her daughter Rose is diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. From being diagnosed, Rose turns almost into a stranger to Natalie, she may look like her daughter but she now acts nothing like her. The things she used to love doing she no longer wants to do and she rebels against her treatment and is finding it very hard to adjust to these new changes in her life.
I have to admit to learning so much from this book. It really opened my eyes to an illness that I really knew very little about. Through the author I could really feel the frustration that Rose felt as diabetes had really intruded in her young and carefree lifestyle and I had every empathy for her acting the way she was. On the other hand, as a mother, I could also feel all the emotions that Natalie was going through. What’s worse is that Natalie has to deal with it on her own.
Natalie has to outwit her daughter into doing the prick tests and her daily injections which she is having a hard time accepting. After coming across some old information about her grandfather who went missing in the war, she decides to create a story using some of the facts about her grandfather into a compelling story that she slowly tells over a period of time. I have to admit to start with I was more interested in the parts with Natalie and Rose but it didn’t take long for the story of Colin and his fellow seamen to grab me and I have to admit I really did not want it to end.
How To Be Brave was an eye opening book for me which is beautifully written. It’s one of those novels where the characters will stay with you long after you have finished reading it. A highly recommended read.
How To Be Brave is available to purchase from Amazon