I’m pleased to welcome you today to my stop on the blog tour for the poignant and moving This Lovely City by Louise Hare. Thank you to HQ for giving me the opportunity to read and review this beautiful book.
About the book:
The drinks are flowing.
The music is playing.
But the party can’t last.
With the Blitz over and London reeling from war, jazz musician Lawrie Matthews has answered England’s call for help. Fresh off the Empire Windrush, he’s taken a tiny room in south London lodgings, and has fallen in love with the girl next door.
Touring Soho’s music halls by night, pacing the streets as a postman by day, Lawrie has poured his heart into his new home – and it’s alive with possibility. Until, one morning, he makes a terrible discovery.
As the local community rallies, fingers of blame are pointed at those who had recently been welcomed with open arms. And, before long, the newest arrivals become the prime suspects in a tragedy which threatens to tear the city apart.
Atmospheric, poignant and compelling, Louise Hare’s debut shows that new arrivals have always been the prime suspects. But, also, that there is always hope.
About the author:
Louise Hare recently completed the MA Creative Writing at Birkbeck. Her debut novel ‘This Lovely City’ was shortlisted for the Lucy Cavendish Prize for Fiction 2017 and will be published by HQ in March 2020. Her short story ‘Panopticon’ was written on the MA and has been published in ‘The Good Journal.’
Wow, what a poignant, moving and compelling read This Lovely City by Louise Hare is. It captured my heart almost from the very first page, completely blowing me away with the power of the story held within its pages. London of the 1950’s is brought vividly to life, with the harsh treatment of the Windrush generation at the heart of this beautifully written and heartfelt story.
It begins with Lawrie, a young man who has answered England’s call for help, travelling over on the Empire Windrush and moving into a small room in South London. There he falls in love with girl next door Evie, who is of mixed race heritage. Narrated by both Lawrie and Evie, this is a story that isn’t always an easy read. Racism against them is an almost every day occurrences so life is tough, but as long as they can stay together Lawrie feels that they will be able to overcome anything.
But then something happens that changes everything, with Lawrie becoming the focus of a police investigation that sees him become the prime suspect in a murder case. People begin to turn against him and the other new arrivals, with fights beginning to break out as the local residents use the murder investigation as an excuse to drive Lawrie and his friends from their homes.
This Lovely City is a beautifully written story that opens your eyes to the racism and hardship those of the Windrush generation faced when they came to a country that at first welcomed them with open arms. It’s a tale of a beautiful young love that’s filled with fear and heartache through no fault of the young lovers themselves, but is also a love story that leaves you with an overwhelming feeling of hope.
Louise Hare has captured the essence of the Windrush generation with a powerful story that’s as relevant today as it was all those years ago. It highlights incredibly well why what has been happening in recent years to the Windrush generation and their descendants is so appalling, causing untold harm and heartache to those who were here for our country at a time when we needed them most.
I can’t even begin to describe how much I loved this book! With a cast of memorable characters and a story that will blow you away, this is a time in our history that needed to be told and I honestly can’t recommend this book highly enough.
To put it quite simply, this is a stunning read that will stay with me for a long time to come. Just wow!
This Lovely City by Louise Hare is available to buy now: Amazon UK
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