By Nicholas Evans
(Little, Brown and Company, Hardcover, 9780316033787, 368pp.)
Publication Date: October 12, 2010
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There's little love in eight-year-old Tom Bedford's life. His parents are old and remote and the boarding school they've sent him to bristles with bullies and sadistic staff. The only comfort he gets is from his fantasy world of Cowboys and Indians. But when his sister Diane, a rising star of stage and screen, falls in love with one of his idols, the suave TV cowboy Ray Montane, Tom's life is transformed. They move to Hollywood and all his dreams seem to have come true. Soon, however, the sinister side of Tinseltown casts its shadow and a shocking act of violence changes their lives forever.
What happened all those years ago remains a secret that corrodes Tom's life and wrecks his marriage. Only when his estranged son, a US Marine, is charged with murder do the events resurface, forcing him to confront his demons. As he struggles to save his son's life, he will learn the true meaning of bravery.
Powerfully written and intensely moving, The Brave traces the legacy of violence behind the myth of the American West and explores our quest for love and identity, the fallibility of heroes and the devastating effects of family secrets.
Nicholas Evans studied law at Oxford University after serving in Africa with Voluntary Service Overseas. He then worked as a newspaper reporter, TV producer and screenwriter before writing four bestselling novels. His first book, The Horse Whisperer was made into a movie directed by Robert Redford. He lives in Devon with his wife, singer/songwriter Charlotte Gordon Cumming. Her album of songs, inspired by The Brave, can be heard at www.thebravesongs.com.
"Alternating past and present, Evans expertly juggles his twin narratives until they come shatteringly together as father and son yield to the combined weight of the secrets they hide. Combining elements of the prep school drama, the Hollywood novel, the western, and the war story, Evans (The Horse Whisperer) skillfully mixes genres to create a real crowd-pleaser."
"Ever the master of intense and complex relationships, Evans has crafted a time-traveling plot that admirably juggles issues of identity and fidelity to one's self and one's principles."
"In his first novel in five years Evans displays a sure hand at drawing characters and their motivations and settings as diverse as a gloomy boarding school, glamorous Hollywood, and the wide-open spaces of the West. This should appeal to all lovers of good storytelling."
"The Brave is an engrossing tale that ... suggest[s] that, as Faulkner said, "The past isn't dead. It isn't even past." Fans of The Horse Whisperer won't want to miss this complex and satisfying story. For readers who have not had the pleasure of reading Evans, but are looking to get lost in a big novel with larger-than-life characters, The Brave is sure to fit the bill."