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Publisher's Summary

"Gaynor's story of courage and strength will make you believe in the heroic spirit in each of us." (Lisa Wingate, number one New York Times best-selling author of Before We Were Yours

The New York Times best-selling author of The Girl Who Came Home sets her unforgettable new novel in China during WWII, inspired by true events surrounding the Japanese Army’s internment of teachers and children from a British-run missionary school. Their motto was to be prepared, but nothing could prepare them for war. 

China, December 1941. Having left an unhappy life in England for a teaching post at a missionary school in northern China, Elspeth Kent is now anxious to return home to help the war effort. But as she prepares to leave China, a terrible twist of fate determines a different path for Elspeth, and those in her charge. 

Ten-year-old Nancy Plummer has always felt safe at Chefoo School, protected by her British status. But when Japan declares war on Britain and America, Japanese forces take control of the school and the security and comforts Nancy and her friends are used to are replaced by privation, uncertainty and fear. Now the enemy, and separated from their parents, the children look to their teachers – to Miss Kent and her new Girl Guide patrol especially – to provide a sense of unity and safety. 

Faced with the relentless challenges of oppression, the school community must rely on their courage, faith and friendships as they pray for liberation – but worse is to come when they are sent to a distant internment camp where even greater uncertainty and danger await.... 

Inspired by true events, When We Were Young and Brave is an unforgettable novel about impossible choices and unimaginable hardship, and the life-changing bonds formed between a young girl and her teacher in a remote corner of a terrible war. 

©2020 Hazel Gaynor (P)2020 HarperCollins Publishers

What listeners say about When We Were Young & Brave

Average Customer Ratings
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heart wrenching And inspiring!!

narration was spectacular. entire and completely captivating. I couldn't stop listening. I laughed, gasped and cried..

45 people found this helpful

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best audible I have ever heard

loved it. the story, the history, the voices. I could wait to find out what happens next.
very well written

36 people found this helpful

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Moving story based in fact

Wonderful novel about people experiencing horrible circumstances and rising above them. If you don't cry at the end, you have a heart of stone.

29 people found this helpful

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a book of courage and hope

this is a book of courage and resilience in the face of danger. children were taken to China to be safe from the war in England. There the children were kept in camps guarded and kept confined. until they were liberated and got to go home to their families.

29 people found this helpful

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Great book

Lovely story and beautifully told! The narrators are particularly good. Good juxtaposition of good and evil.

26 people found this helpful

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Beautiful Story

Great story, and I LOVE Imogen Church as a narrator! Absolutely recommend! Really appreciated Eric Liddell being included

21 people found this helpful

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Boring

I didn’t think I would ever finish this book. Very disappointed! Nothing exciting at all!

21 people found this helpful

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Wonderful

I really enjoyed listening to this audiobook. The story and narration were so good. I plan on reading more from this author.

19 people found this helpful

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A must read!

Growing up as a Girl Scout, this book was recommended to me and I'm so glad it was.

17 people found this helpful

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Very, Very Disappointing

Had expected something much better based on reviews. In trying to understand the favorable reviews it’s pretty clear the ratings must have been submitted by women, youth, or former Girl Scouts. This is clearly a “chick” book. Or it could have even been placed in a “ Youth” category. Came close to giving up on the book several times - but I almost never quit reading after I start a book. But this is one I wish I had never started. With most historical fiction book I learn something about the time. This book offered nothing new. Quite disappointing!

2 people found this helpful