Tuesday, November 16, 2021
Review: Clarice the Brave by Lisa McMann
And I could not have been happier about this book. Giving it four stars, and oh, how much I loved it. It was such a cute story. But also so very evil and full of sadness at times. I even cried near the ending. So rude. But then it gave me so much joy as well. I adored these animals way too much. So yes. I loved this book.
Will begin by saying that the writing was pretty lovely and I had no trouble connecting to this story. It is a book told mostly from the point of view of Clarice, a small mouse living on a ship. And a little from her brother too, Charles Sebastian. But this story is for the most part about Clarice. And I loved this mouse to pieces. They used to be a bigger mouse family living in the pantry of this ship. But they have lost their family one by one. Their sister to one of the three cats, and their mother to the waves, just a week before this book begins. And so Clarice and Charles Sebastian are all alone and not sure how they will manage to survive, when the rest of their family did not. To make things even worse, the sailors are talking about mutiny. A word they do not know.
But these two small mice are soon to know what that word means, as it will change their world. Once the sailors start with their mutiny against the captain, they make him and his supporters leave on a smaller boat. Giving them a little food to survive, which include the crate Clarice and her brother are living in. She stays in this crate, while it is lifted off the ship. But Charles Sebastian always runs when there is danger, and he ran out of the crate. And so they were separated, he still on the large ship, her leaving on a boat.
Which is what this adventure is all about. These two small mice trying to find each other again. Without being able to do a thing about it. All they can do is listen to the humans, trying to figure out what they are planning. And there was a whole lot of planning. It was interesting to see what Clarice thought about it all, how the humans were to her. This is her story. But we learn about them too, and their mutiny. There are lots of deaths. One I thought was sad, but also not that much, because he kind of deserved it. Ha. Sorry.
We see a little of Charles Sebastian, still on the ship. He has lost track of the pantry, not sure how to find it again. And we get to see him trying to survive on his own for the very first time. As his family always did everything for him. And I loved seeing him grow braver on his own. He also starts a small friendship with a human girl, a prisoner of these mutineers. I felt so badly for her. And I loved that he helped her a little, at least. I did adore this little boy mouse. He was cute and pretty brave at times too. I liked his story a lot.
But yeah. The star of this book was Clarice. And also Special Lady. One of the three cats, who ended up on the small boat with Clarice. This book takes place over many weeks. There are weeks of starving and barely surviving. Many of the sailors did not make it. But Clarice and Special Lady did. Since they helped each other. And I loved that beyond words. Cats and mice are enemies. Special Lady even ate her sister. They hated each other. But on this small boat, they needed each other. And that was the very best thing.
The sailors did not feed the cat. Which made me want them all to die. Hmph. So rude. But Clarice fed her. She was able to sneak food from the sailors and give to the cat. Keeping her from dying, all those weeks at sea. And Special Lady helped Clarice get water that she couldn't find on her own. I so loved reading about these two becoming friends. Of them connecting and starting to care for each other. It was what I loved most about this book. Sigh. Of course, it was full of other great things too, but that was my favorite.
Not going to say much more about this story. Took me a few days to read it, as I can barely read right now, but it was a really fast read and can easily be read in a few hours. I know I would read this book again. The ending hurt me. But it was also so good. There is so much going on. And I so loved every moment. Claire the Brave was just the kind of book I needed. Full of adventure and danger. The most beautiful friendship between a cat and a mouse. I loved it a whole lot. And you all need to read this too.