Two books by Lissa Evans.

I came across this author on a recommendation by India Knight – (in the paper, I’ve never met India) – and I advanced cautiously as I often find that even seemingly sensible people can rave about the weirdest books.

And when those weird books are personally recommended you end up looking at the person like, god, you really don’t know me at all. A bit like being set up on a blind date with someone really ghastly and you think “Wow… is that who you think of as a my equal? Just… wow.”

Anyway where was I – oh yes these two very good books by Lissa Evans, both set in wartime.

The first is Crooked Heart, which is about a precocious evacuee who goes to live in St Albans with a down-on-her-luck chancer called Vee.

It is darkly funny and describes life on the Home Front with such clarity and almost extra-sensory vision that it’s like she is describing another country, rather than an entirely historical situation.

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The second is Their Finest Hour and a Half, which has recently been turned into a film (which I haven’t seen). Another corker.

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She has just brought out a new novel, Old Baggage, which is a sort of prequel to Crooked Heart. So if you like these, you will also like this.

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