In my opinion...
An atmospheric debut novel which will challenge and stay with you long after you’ve finished it.
Lawrie and Evie are such likeable, well drawn and believable characters, that you feel as though you are living the story with them. The book goes between two timelines and also via letters from Evie’s mother to her sister, but it is easy to follow, and this is a good way of explaining the back story.
Much of the subject matter covered is uncomfortable & distressing as Louise Hare does not shy away from horrific racist comments, which, sadly, are all too realistic. That is countered however by a tender love story, and an intriguing mystery.
In the light of the Windrush scandal, this is very much a novel of our time, raising numerous questions which are relevant today. Equally it feels as though it does accurately portray the post war 40s and early 50s in London.
I look forward to whatever subject Louise Hare tackles next, as this is such a very strong start to her published career.
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The drinks are flowing.
The music is playing.
But the party can’t last.
With the Blitz over and London reeling from war, jazz musician Lawrie Matthews has answered England’s call for help. Fresh off the Empire Windrush, he’s taken a tiny room in south London lodgings, and has fallen in love with the girl next door.
Touring Soho’s music halls by night, pacing the streets as a postman by day, Lawrie has poured his heart into his new home – and it’s alive with possibility. Until, one morning, he makes a terrible discovery.
As the local community rallies, fingers of blame are pointed at those who had recently been welcomed with open arms. And, before long, the newest arrivals become the prime suspects in a tragedy which threatens to tear the city apart.
Atmospheric, poignant and compelling, Louise Hare’s debut shows that new arrivals have always been the prime suspects. But, also, that there is always hope.
This novel is ( deservedly) getting rave reviews across the board, and I'm going along with that, a resounding 5 glasses, cheers Louise Hare, here's to your next novel!
Thank you Harper Collins for my ARC, I feel very fortunate to be one of the first people to be lucky enough to have read it!