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Their Finest Hour and a Half by Lissa Evans
  

Their Finest Hour and a Half

Historical Fiction   Debuts of the Month   Literary Fiction   
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Sarah Broadhurst's view...

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.

If you like Lissa Evans you might also like to read books by Maggie O’Farrell, Beryl Bainbridge and Tom Sharpe.

Who is Sarah Broadhurst

Synopsis

Their Finest Hour and a Half by Lissa Evans

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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Reviews

[Lissa Evans] displays a fine eye for detail and for the absurdities involved in filming. She also brilliantly evokes the disruption and dangers of wartime London. This funny, heart-warming and beautifully crafted novel is a must-read * Daily Mail * Beautifully written, minutely observed and researched, evocative and very funny tale -- Michele Hanson * Guardian * Comic, poignant and altogether delightful, raised spirits are guaranteed * Easy Living * This is a comic novel, but far warmer in tone and broader in scope than that label would suggest...Gloriously observed...Hilliard is a wonderful creation - and Evans's recreated propaganda scripts are a total joy. Delicious * The Times * Pitch-perfect in tone and populated by some unforgettable characters, Lissa Evans's blackly comic new novel is a delight * The Gloss Magazine *


About the Author

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.

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Book Info

Publication date

1st January 2010

Author

Lissa Evans

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Author's Website

lissaevans.com/
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Publisher

Black Swan an imprint of Transworld Publishers Ltd

Format

Paperback
416 pages

Categories

Historical Fiction
Debuts of the Month
Literary Fiction

Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945)

ISBN

9780552774710

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