Nov 24, 2010

The Brave by Nicholas Evans

Tom Bedford is living alone in the isolated wilds of Montana. Having distanced himself from his own troubled past, he rarely sees his ex-wife, and his son, Danny, is away in Iraq and hasn't spoken to him for years. Tom hasn't always been so removed from society. As a boy, his mother was a meteoric rising star in the glitzy, enchanted world of 1960s Hollywood. There, she fell in love with the suave Ray Montane, who played young Tom's courageous onscreen hero, Red McGraw, the fastest draw around. Tommy and his mother lived in a glamorous, Hollywood version of the Wild West. Everything was perfect, until the gold flaking on their magical life began to chip away, revealing an uglier truth beneath. Ray was not who he seemed. Tommy and his mother fell into a deadly confrontation with him, and they fled Hollywood forever, into the wilderness of the real West.

As a man, Tom has put all of that behind him--or so he thinks. Unexpectedly, his ex-wife calls, frantic: Danny has been charged with murder. In the chaos of war, his son has been caught in a violent skirmish gone bloodily awry. The Army needs someone to pay for the mistake. Tom, forced into action, is now suddenly alive again and fighting to save the son he'd let slip away. To succeed, he must confront the violence in his own past, and he finds that these two selves--the past and the present--which he'd fought so long to keep separate, are inextricably connected. As father and son struggle to understand one another, both are compelled to learn the true meaning of bravery.

Beautifully interlacing the past and present, the author of The Horse Whisperer reminds us that we are tied to the glories and mistakes of our own history. The Brave lives up to its name, as one the most courageous and full-hearted novels of our time.


Nicholas Evans has been a journalist, screenwriter, TV/film producer, and novelist. He studied at Oxford University after serving in Africa with the Voluntary Service Overseas. He then studied journalism and worked as a newspaper reporter and television screenwriter before writing four bestselling books of fiction. His novel, The Horse Whisperer was made into a celebrated movie directed by Robert Redford. He lives in Devon with his wife, singer/songwriter Charlotte Gordon Cumming.


Tom Bedford has secrets from his past that he has never dealt with, and it has affected his relationships with everyone in his life.  He has pulled away from everyone, and he lives in almost total seclusion.  That is ... until his own estranged son is charged with murder, and Tom is shocked into confronting his own troubled past.

Nicholas Evans has written another great book that I know I will never forget, just like the Horse Whisperer.  It is filled with dynamic characters that grab your heart, and never let you go.  Multiple stories and different time frames are interlaced in this book, traveling back and forth over the years of Tom's life.  This format is easy to follow and wonderfully woven into a story that kept me glued to the book from cover to cover.

I highly recommend this book, but it's definitely not suitable for younger teens or children.  Due to the foul language and profanity used by one of the main characters, some readers may find this story offensive.  Though I don't approve of this type of language, it clearly demonstrated the lack of honour and integrity of the one character.

Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of The Brave through Hachette Books, in exchange for my honest review.

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