Thursday, July 30, 2015

Crooked Heart by Lissa Evans

Good morning, everyone! Today I'm a stop on the TLC book tour for Lissa Evans's Crooked Heart.

Noel and his godmother lived together comfortably. She didn't agree with the war and when the first call for evacuating children from London was made she refused. But Mattie was growing increasingly more forgetful, her health declining with every passing day. When Mattie died, leaving Noel all alone, another round of evacuations proved to be the the chance Mattie's only relatives were waiting for. And so, Noel was sent away, left to be taken in by the likes of Vera Sedge. 

Vee lives in a perpetual state of poverty. Her son, spared from the war by a heart murmur, is listless and often late to his own job. Vee herself works harder than she should and still can't scrape by. But Vee has a plan, one that Noel finds he can be of great help with. Soon the two are conspiring together to take advantage of the war. But they aren't the only ones. 

Crooked Heart reminded me a little of the old Ryan and Tatum O'Neal pic, Paper Moon. Apparently I'm not the only one who thought so - Nick Hornby noted the same thing. It's probably hard not to compare the two considering they're both about a "parent"/kid con artist team. (The comparison is made in the book's publicity material but once I saw this was set in WWII I admit I didn't really read anything more about the book. Yes, I'm that easy.)

It's a little sad how Noel and Vee take advantage of people. And Vee's son isn't much better. Not that any one of them has much of a choice. Given their circumstances, they're all taking advantage of their talents and situations to try and get by. Vee and Noel do manage to capture the reader's heart to some extent, though. It's hard to imagine exactly what you'd do in their situation and the way they work together and help one another is quite appealing. I quite loved Mattie and Mrs. Gifford. Neither is a main character in the least - Mattie is only present in the prologue, in fact - but both of them have such a great effect on Noel as a whole that they felt like much larger characters.

Crooked Heart is kind of a darkly comic and skewed heartwarming read - not your typical feel good book by any means. I'd definitely recommend it to any reader interested in WWII fiction and/or something just a little bit different. (Guys, seriously, everyone loves this book... Jojo Moyes?! Nick Hornby?!... I'm in good company recommending this one.)

To see more stops on the tour be sure to check out the official TLC tour page here.

For more on Lissa Evans and her work, you can visit her website here. You can also follow her on Twitter.


Unknown said...

Hi - I'm on this tour as well. Can't wait to get started reading it. :)
@dino0726 from 
FictionZeal - Impartial, Straighforward Fiction Book Reviews

Heather J @ TLC Book Tours said...

So much of WWII fiction is similar and although I enjoy it I want something different as well. This sounds like it is right up my alley!

Thanks for being a part of the tour!