If you enjoyed reading Crooked Heart and Old Baggage then this book is a must-read. It does include some of the same characters but is fine to read as a standalone novel.
The story follows the unlikely partnership of Vee Sedge, a landlady with a false identity, and 15-year-old Noel, to whom she’s like a parent but they are not related. They have personal crises to navigate in bombed-out London. Also followed in third person narrative is Winnie, an air raid warden whose husband is in a POW camp.
Lissa Evans is excellent at creating a sense of place and time, exploring the experiences of ordinary people in 1944, as the war dragged on and everyone was worn out. The way they all became used to bombs falling around them is quite horrifying. Everything about the book felt realistic and it was obviously well-researched.
I’d recommend this book if you’re interested in fiction set during the Second World War and which is focused on air raid wardens, making do with food rations and the impact of the American GIs on British society.
First published in 2020.