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Longlisted for the Baileys Women's Prize for Fiction 2015.
When Noel Bostock - aged ten, no family - is evacuated from London to escape the Blitz, he ends up living in St Albans with Vera Sedge - thirty-six and drowning in debts and dependents. Always desperate for money, she's unscrupulous about how she gets it. Noel's mourning his godmother, Mattie, a former suffragette. Brought up to share her disdain for authority and eclectic approach to education, he has little in common with other children and even less with Vee, who hurtles impulsively from one self-made crisis to the next. The war's thrown up new opportunities for making money but what Vee needs (and what she's never had) is a cool head and the ability to make a plan. On her own, she's a disaster. With Noel, she's a team. Together they cook up an idea. Criss-crossing the bombed suburbs of London, Vee starts to make a profit and Noel begins to regain his interest in life. But there are plenty of other people making money out of the war and some of them are dangerous. Noel may have been moved to safety, but he isn't actually safe at all.
'The best novel I have read in the last five years... I couldn't love it more, India Knight Evans, who wrote the equally winning Their Finest Hour and a Half, also set during the war, is carving out a distinctive niche for herself... credible, touching, and funny.'
'As sparky and funny as Cold Comfort Farm and as charming and touching as The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry, but then every now and again comes the vertiginous feeling of peering into something unutterably, dangerously sad. Everybody, and I mean everybody, is getting this for Christmas.'
'Quite wonderful - beautifully written, so authentic too, and evocative of the wartime spirit, moving, funny - just perfect. I don't usually like novels about the war - the true stories are so good - but this one - and Evelyn Waugh - are way up in a class of their own - superb.'
Publication date: 31/12/2015
Publisher: Black Swan an imprint of Transworld Publishers Ltd
Publication date: 06/11/2014
Publisher: Doubleday an imprint of Transworld Publishers Ltd
|Publication date:||6th November 2014|
|Publisher:||Doubleday an imprint of Transworld Publishers Ltd|
|Genres:||eBook Favourites, Historical Fiction,|
Lissa Evans has written books for both adults and children, including Their Finest Hour and a Half, longlisted for the Orange Prize, Small Change for Stuart, shortlisted for many awards including the Carnegie Medal and the Costa Book Awards and Crooked Heart, longlisted for the Baileys Women's Prize for Fiction.More About Lissa Evans