Do you ever get to the middle of a book and get really excited because you know this is going to be a book you want to tell everyone to read? Or is not everyone as bossy a reader as I am? Crooked Heart by Lissa Evans is the book I am currently trying to push on everyone and it is delightful.
Noel is a 10 year old evacuee sent to live in a safer village outside London during the Blitz. Vee is a rather unsuccessful con-woman with an invalid mother and a lazy son. Vee sees an opportunity to incorporate a slightly lame “war orphan” into her schemes and volunteers as a foster mother.
On the surface, Noel and Vee aren’t nice or endearing or even particularly moral. But they are underdogs, and you can’t help but root for them. The story buzzes with dark humor mixed with bigger questions about right and wrong.
Sidebar: Have you watched Foyle’s War on Netflix? I could totally see Vee and Noel getting busted by Detective Foyle and then maybe getting let off with a warning if he was in a particularly cheery mood.
I loved Noel and Vee and their prickly, complicated, wonderful relationship. If you love books set during World War II this is definitely for you, but I think everyone should give this lovely little book a shot.
Originally published August 28, 2015