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Their Finest Hour and a Half

by Lissa Evans

Debut Books of the Month Historical Fiction Modern and Classic Literary Fiction

LoveReading View on Their Finest Hour and a Half

The making of a propaganda film in the 40s – the script ideas, the untrained people involved, the petty jealousies, the atmosphere of ‘making do’ in wartime and the utter chaos shine through in this warm, comic novel of a by-gone age.  It’s a delight.


Comparison: Kate Atkinson (Behind the Scenes at the Museum), Kate Long (The Bad Mother’s Handbook), David Nobbs.

Sarah Broadhurst

Their Finest Hour and a Half Synopsis

In 1940, every draft of every film script had to be approved by the Ministry of Information. Cast and crew were waiting to be called up at any moment, travel was restricted and filming was interrupted by regular bombing raids. And so it is that we find a disparate group of characters whose paths would never have crossed in peacetime: Ambrose Hilliard, a washed up old ham from the golden era of silent movies; Catrin Cole, formerly an advertising copywriter drafted in to 'write women' for the Ministry of Information; Edith Beadmore, a wardrobe assistant at Madame Tussauds; and, Arthur Frith, peacetime catering manager turned wartime Special Military Advisor. This distinct group find themselves thrown together in the wilds of Norfolk to 'do their bit' on the latest propaganda film - a heart-warming tale of derring do, of two sisters who set out in a leaking old wooden boat to rescue the brave men trapped at Dunkirk. All completely fabricated, of course, but what does that matter when the nation's morale is at stake? Newly crowned actor, script-writer, costumier and military attache must swallow their mutual distaste, ill-will and mistrust and unite for the common good, for King and country, and - in one case - for better or worse.

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All versions of this book

ISBN: 9780552774710
Publication date: 01/01/2010
Publisher: Black Swan an imprint of Transworld Publishers Ltd
Format: Paperback

Book Information

ISBN: 9780552774710
Publication date: 1st January 2010
Author: Lissa Evans
Publisher: Black Swan an imprint of Transworld Publishers Ltd
Format: Paperback
Pagination: 416 pages
Genres: Debuts of the Month, Historical Fiction, Literary Fiction,
Categories: Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945),

About Lissa Evans

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

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