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Longlisted for the Baileys Women's Prize for Fiction 2015.
This is a completely charming and very different slice of World War Two fiction. ‘Crooked Heart’ explores the relationship of Vera, and ten year old Noel, who has been evacuated from London. The prologue sets the story beautifully, releasing snippets of information yet encouraging you to feel, to appreciate the heart and soul of Noel. Lissa Evans balances a gentle charm with barbed spikes of wit and reality. Noel and Vera are amazingly resourceful (that’s the polite way of describing it), yet wonderfully odd, and I couldn't help falling in thoughtful love with them. The other characters are as vibrant and fully formed, even those with walk on parts light up the pages. After initially skulking in the distance, World War Two hammers into their lives, thoroughly testing Noel and Vera’s mettle. With fizzes of quirky wry humour holding hands with contemplative emotions, ‘Crooked Heart’ has craftily slipped into my heart, and I declare it a gorgeous warm hug of a read.
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...
Closing date: 01/11/2020
In addition to our Lovereading expert opinion some of our Reader Review Panel were also lucky enough to read and review this title. You can click here to read the full reviews.
'Dazzling...a miniature masterpiece of serio-comic writing...A dark comedy, moving between drollery, pathos, farce and harrowing moments of tragic insight' The Guardian
'I loved this book - Lissa Evans is a wonderful writer; Vee and Noel are utter originals, and their journey made me laugh and cry' -- JoJo Moyes
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:||31st December 2015|
|Publisher:||Black Swan an imprint of Transworld Publishers Ltd|
|Genres:||Book Club Recommendations, Reader Reviewed Books, eBook Favourites, Family Drama, Historical Fiction, Modern and Contemporary Fiction,|
|Categories:||Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945),|
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