Crooked Heart by Lisa Evans


I’m finding this to be a difficult blog post to write. On the one hand I want to say that I didn’t enjoy this book, nothing much seemed to happen and I didn’t find it ‘funny’ or ‘dazzling’ as the quotes on the cover tell me. However, having worked my way through to the end, I did find the last few pages kind of touching… but did it make a less-than-thrilling story worthwhile?

Crooked Heart tells the story of Noel Bostock, a ten year old evacuee during WW2 who is sent to live in St Albans with Vera Sedge, who is not the most moral of guardians to place the young boy with. In fact, if she can work out a way to get money, she will usually pursue it, regardless of the legality of her actions. Her good – for – nothing son Donald seems to be following in her footsteps. The story follows Noel and Vera as they grow closer and run into other unscrupulous characters.

Part of the problem for me was that I didn’t really find Vera very likeable; maybe I’m not supposed to, but it might have helped to add a little warmth to a story that seems full of characters who struggle to connect with others. Also the storyline did drag at times and at moments I really wondered where on earth the story was heading. Even the climax seems sort of thrown in for drama to try to build the pace of a story in which very little happens.

However, as I’ve already mentioned, I did find the ending quite touching, and perhaps the point of this story is that even in the darkest of times, and in the most unusual of circumstances, people can connect with each other.