Talking Location With Lucy Fricke and Sinéad Crowe – Olevano Romano and Amorgos
Novel set in 1948/50 LONDON
23rd May 2020
This Lovely City by Louise Hare, novel set in 1948/50 London.
This delightfully penned novel will transport you back to a post war London. The author was inspired to write this book after she had visited a deep-level shelter and uses it as early accommodation for Lawrie.
Lawrie is a young man who has come over with others from Jamaica. He is part of the Windrush generation, of whom we have recently heard a good deal. In 1950 he is courting his neighbour Evie in Clapham and things are going well until he happens to find the body of a small child, floating in a local lake, a young girl dubbed Ophelia. She is clearly of mixed heritage. The police are eager to pin the death on someone and why not the person who found her?! The incompetence and racism of the police threatens to destabilise what he has with Evie. Evie herself has secrets that in turn could send Lawrie running for the hills.
At the heart of the story of course is the mystery surround the little girl’s body. Who is she and who might her parents be? More than that this is a narrative of post war London, a city where rationing is still a thing, where people are trying to regain their places in the world. There is the thrum of music in the background as Lawrie earns an extra few bob performing as part of a band at places like the Lyceum. This novel certainly has atmosphere.
I occasionally had to do a double take on which year the particular chapter was set – it is a slightly unusual construct, jumping back and forth between the years 1948 and 1950 (which are very close together) but once I understood the pattern, I soon got into the swing of the style. The author has a terrific writing style and I am looking forward to her next novel!
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