Within the genre of historical fiction, World War II novels tend to take up quite a bit of space. For clear moral reasons, historical fiction cedes ground to memoir when it comes to something as visceral and existentially horrific as the Holocaust, yet there is space. Writing within such a space requires a deft and empathetic writer. Fortunately, Karla M. Jay is one such writer, and her When We Were Brave is an exceptional historical novel giving readers deep emotional and pragmatic insight into the lives of characters whose being was shaped and who shaped our understanding of the time. Such a maneuver is what the best historical fiction does.