Crooked Heart

Crooked Heart

Book - 2014
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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.
Publisher: London, Doubleday,, 2014.
ISBN: 9780385614337
Characteristics: 282 pages ; 23 cm.


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Jul 25, 2018

What an fresh and interesting premise, told so well! I could not put this book down.

May 24, 2016

Basically good people doing bad things to survive. Granted all the difficulties of the two main characters' lives, I still think they could have found a way to support themselves without playing on the sympathies of other poor people and taking their money. It's not warm, or cute, or merely quirky; theft is theft. Maybe if Mattie had lived she could have figured it out. And perhaps the main two do, too; I quit reading 2/3 through.

May 05, 2016

This is a very nice novel for adults and young adults. The best character, the godmother, appears only in the prologue. The book is funny and warm.

Jan 26, 2016

What author Nick Hornby wrote on the jacket really captures this book's spirit: "At the cooked heart of this lovely novel is an odd-couple relationship...between an odd, clever, lonely boy, and a dodgy, desperate woman. Their reliance on each other is credible, touching, and funny."
I loved this book.

Jan 25, 2016

This book reminded me a bit of the British drama "Foyles war". Both include all the stuff going on in England during WWII among the "regular people". Tricks, scams, evacuees, black market, rationing etc. some of which are not well known. Good story of lonely people finding each other and making a go of it.

Jan 10, 2016

What a gem! CROOKED HEART is a true original which at times reminded me of the classic movie, Paper Moon. It is the story of two completely different and flawed individuals, the precocious 10-year old orphan Noel and Vee, the scheming 36-year old widow, who together form an unlikely but successful team running a charity scam. Their story is told against the background of the London Blitz during WWII. It is a tale of survival, loss, love, and the meaning of family. It is also an effective character study as the two protagonists change and evolve over the course of the novel. Even supporting characters seem fully developed under the skillful writing of author Lissa Evans. Above all, it is a very human story, all the more poignant because it is not told in a sugary or sentimental way. The darker aspects of Noel’s and Vee’s story are uniquely balanced with touches of humor. All in all, a very worthwhile read and one that stayed with me long after I finished it.

CoreneBee Dec 17, 2015

Crooked Hearts warms the heart. A charming book that chronicles the lives of the not-so-heroic during the Blitz.

Nov 03, 2015

Really enjoyed this book about a quirky group of people during WWII in Britain, especially a very bright little boy. wish we had more of this author's books.

Oct 16, 2015

Nancy Pearl recommendation 10/16/2015

Sep 26, 2015

Splendid! Laugh-out loud funny, not-sentimental, a glimpse behind the heroic tales of Britain during the Battle of Britain. Noel and Vee are a heroic pair in their own right. Mostly suitable for all ages. Definitely not just a YA book.

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