This Lovely City
*As seen on the new BBC TWO TV book club, Between the Covers*
Longlisted for the HWA Debut Crown Award
Indie Book of the Month for March, selected by the Booksellers Association
One of OBSERVER’S 10 best debut novelists of 2020 / WOMAN & HOME Best of 2020 / EVENING STANDARD Best books of 2020 / MAIL ON SUNDAY 2020 Highlights / I Best of 2020
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‘Full of life and love . . . it made my heart soar, and should be on every Londoner’s shelf’ Stacey Halls, Sunday Times bestselling author of The Familiars
‘The writing is wonderful; London’s energy runs right through it; the characters leap off the page. I was truly sad to leave them behind’ Adam Kay, Observer
‘Convincing and involving’ Sunday Times
‘Fans of Zadie Smith and Andrea Levy won’t want to miss Louise Hare’s enthralling debut novel’ Elle
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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. 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.
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MORE PRAISE FOR THIS LOVELY CITY:
‘I loved, loved, loved it’ Cathy Rentzenbrink, Sunday Times bestselling author of The Last Act of Love
‘Full to the brim with such complete joys and heart-aching tragedies . . . you can feel the warmth and colour emanating from the pages’ Magic Radio Book Club
'Superb . . . compelling storytelling, beautifully drawn characters and atmosphere that's deeply immersive' Harriet Tyce, bestselling author of Blood Orange 'This Lovely City is a beguiling, atmospheric and important novel, with wonderful, memorable characters and a vital message about love, loyalty and hope' Caroline Lea, author of The Glass Woman 'This debut is a joy to devour. The characters are beautifully drawn. The tender, compelling storytelling is immersive and atmospheric. I believe Hare is a major new talent who delivers a vital message about love, loyalty and hope' Adele Parks, Platinum 'A story about solidarity and love but above all hope' Zoella 'A thought-provoking and imaginative debut that conjures up the experiences of the Windrush generation in post-war London. Heartbreaking but full of hope' Woman & Home 'Tense . . . this thoughtful novel captures what life was like for the Windrush generation' Good Housekeeping 'Poignant and authentic . . . it's [Hare's] steady, calm prose and the animating authenticity of her material that make it so hard to resist . . . there's] music, solidarity and courage to be found in pages laced with rum punch' Observer 'Hopeful and inspiring; the story of a man, his community and the country they strive to make home' Abi Dare, Observer 'Hare's enthralling novel pulls off the rare trick of being a clever murder mystery, an evocative portrayal of Windrush London and a genuinely touching love story'i 'Paints a vivid picture of what life was really like for the Windrush generation. Fans of Andrea Levy's Small Island will love it' Red 'Mistress of suspense, Hare keeps us guessing to the last page. I loved the post-war atmosphere: bombed, broken London as a visual metaphor for the story's violence and racism' Daily Mail 'A poignant story of love, isolation and prejudice in a post-Second World War London' Radio Times
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