Librarian, Nancy Fort, is recommending another great book in her series of book reviews that adults will enjoy. She has chosen a fiction title, set in Great Britain during World War II — Crooked Heart by Lissa Evans.
Crooked Heart by Lissa Evans is the story of two unlikely partners in crime. Vee is an anxious, heartburn-ridden woman taking care of her invalid mother and unmotivated son in St. Albans, a city about 20 miles outside of London. Her days consist of doing odd jobs for the minister’s wife, making fabric flowers for the milliner and dodging the local tax collector. She suffers from low self-esteem and poor morale as a result of a lifetime of drudgery and poverty. She concocts money making schemes that fail miserably and do nothing to pull her out of her debt ridden lifestyle.
Noel is a ten year old boy, raised by his godmother in London until her unexpected death. Noel arrives in St. Albans with other children evacuated from his neighborhood during the Blitz. He is passed over by many of the residents due to his odd appearance and manners. Vee sees him in the street and thinks she can use his slight limp and detached demeanor to coerce money from well-meaning strangers. Vee is the idea person and Noel is the planner and together they successfully bilk unsuspecting people of their money.
The great thing about this story is the way the characters develop and the way their relationship evolves. It is hard for me to imagine the strain that people lived under during World War II but the book highlights how happiness can be found in the little things and hope can be present even in the bleakest situations.