Book review: Crooked Heart

Lissa Evans

Doubleday, €21.50; ebook, €11.99

Lissa Evans offers a fictional glimpse into the world of childhood evacuation in 1940’s Britain that sees an assortment of characters bring heart and humour to an otherwise dire situation.

Having lived most of his life with his godmother, 10-year-old Noel is left out of sorts when he loses his ageing carer to dementia and is evacuated with his classmates from London to St Albans, finding himself landed with a morally compromised Vee, who is forever trying to make a fast buck; her self-involved son and her mute letter-writing mother.

Noel, brought up and educated by a sharp-minded former suffragette, seems to be the only one with the potential to bring order to Vee’s life and she may be the best thing for a socially inept, yet fiercely intelligent, boy. Watching them get to know each other is a pleasure. Evans offers wonderful phrases to paint the picture of their lives that left me feeling attached to the characters and a little sad that there wasn’t more story to be had.


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