Crooked Heart

Paperback edition released 31/12/2015

by Lissa Evans

Modern and Contemporary Fiction Historical fiction eBooks of the Month Book Club Recommendations Books with reviews by our Reader Review Panel Family Drama Literary Fiction

LoveReading Expert Review of Crooked Heart

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. 

Explore our '80+ Books That Deliver a Hug' listicle for more feel-good or uplifting books.

Liz Robinson

Crooked Heart Synopsis

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.

About This Edition

ISBN: 9780552774789
Publication date: 31st December 2015
Author: Lissa Evans
Publisher: Black Swan an imprint of Transworld Publishers Ltd
Format: Paperback
Pagination: 352 pages
Collections: 80+ Books That Deliver a Hug , 12 Relationship Stories Set Within the Conflict of World War Two,
Primary Genre Historical fiction
Other Genres:
Recommendations:

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Lissa Evans Press Reviews

'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.'

-Nick Hornby

 

'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.'

-Louisa Young

 

'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.'

-Juliet Gardiner

Other editions of this book

ISBN: 9780552774789
Publication date: 31/12/2015
Format: Paperback

ISBN: 9780385614337
Publication date: 06/11/2014
Format: Hardback

View All Editions

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.

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