Crooked Heart by Lissa Evans

Crooked Heart

When Noel Bostock – aged ten, no family - is evacuated from London to escape the Blitz, he ends up living in St Albans with Vera Sedge - thirty-six and drowning in debts and dependents. Always desperate for money, she's unscrupulous about how she gets it. Noel's mourning his godmother, Mattie, a former suffragette. Brought up to share her disdain for authority and eclectic approach to education, he has little in common with other children and e...

Details Crooked Heart

TitleCrooked Heart
Release DateNov 6th, 2014
GenreHistorical, Historical Fiction, Fiction, War, World War II, Adult Fiction

Reviews Crooked Heart

  • Diane S ☔
    Hard to believe I could find a novel about the London Blitz and WWII both heartwarming and at times ironically humorous. But I did and much of this is due to the author and her wonderful characterizations. I quickly fell in love with ten year old Noel, a precocious boy of unknown origins who was being raised by his suffragette and eccentric godmother, Mattie. Eventually he will be one of the children evacuated and taken in by a woman named Vee, w...
  • Aditi
    “Friendship is born at that moment when one man says to another: "What! You too? I thought that no one but myself . . ."” ----C.S. LewisLissa Evans, an English writer, pens a heart-touching historical fiction, Crooked Heart: A Novel about unusual friendships set against the vivid and honest backdrop in London during the world war II, when Germany was constantly dropping off bombs over the city of London.Synopsis: When Noel Bostock—aged ten...
  • Carolyn
    This was a sweet story about a ten year old boy called Noel orphaned and evacuated from London to the small town of St Albans during the blitz after the death of his guardian. He is taken in by Vera, a woman struggling to keep her head above water financially who sees him as an extra source of income. Noel is an unusual boy, brought up by his godmother Mattie, an elderly ex-suffragette, and is quiet and bookish with a vocabulary and wisdom well b...
  • Tim
    Charming would probably be how lots of people describe this book. Charm though doesn’t work on everyone and this novel’s charm was lost on me. For one thing the material was spread very thin – people have written memorable short stories with more material. Also, considering the novel’s subject matter was largely everyday life, I found suspension of disbelief difficult at times. For example when Noel, the rather clichéd precocious orphan,...
  • Susan
    Ten year old Noel Bostock lives in Hampstead with his godmother Mattie; an ex suffragette with strong and decided opinions. Noel is bookish, with few friends, but he is very happy with Mattie, so, when she begins to lose her memory and act oddly, his life begins to fall apart. Despite his longing for his life to remain as it is, Mattie’s illness and the encroaching war lead to Noel being evacuated to the relative safety of nearby St Alban’s. ...
  • Jane
    Isn’t it lovely when you find a story that really strikes a chord?This is the story of ten year-old Noel Bostock. He lived in Hampstead with his godmother Mattie; she had been a suffragette and she had firm and individual opinions, formed over the course of a life well lived. Noel was bright and he was bookish; he had little in common with children his own age, he didn’t understand them at all, and so he had few friends; but he was very happy...
  • Mmars
    Just recently in a review I bemoaned that a book about WWII needed to add something unique to that enormous body of literature for me to find it notable. Well, lo and behold, along comes this book to warm my heart and tickle my soul. “Crooked Heart” begins on the periphery of World War II in the outskirts of London. Noel is a 10-year-old orphan living with his beloved godmother in “a spacious brick box, with a fancy ironwood verandah and a ...
  • Laura Leaney
    I'm so glad I read this novel Thanksgiving week, as it's been quite a while since I was emotionally invested in a book's characters enough to feel a profound gratefulness to the power of love. So many books on World War II and London's Blitz are sentimental and tired, but Lissa Evans's is beautifully moving because the war is second to the desperate characters. Parts of the book are funny, while other parts provoke anxiety on behalf of a little b...
  • Joanne Sheppard
    When I finished reading Crooked Heart by Lissa Evans, my first thought was that it reminded me of a cross between Cold Comfort Farm, I Capture The Castle and Goodnight Mr Tom. Those aren't comparisons I would ever make lightly - in fact, it's about as strong an endorsement you could get from me. As the Second World War breaks out, ten-year-old Noel Bostock lives in London with his adored godmother and guardian Mattie, an ex-suffragette with an en...
  • Bonnie
    My rating: 4.5 of 5 starsNoel, a ten year old boy, has been raised by his eccentric, ex-suffragette godmother Mattie. In addition to his normal schooling, Mattie always took the time to give what she referred to as “proper schooling” which included discussions on the obscure and essay topics that gave you more reasons to think such as “What Is Freedom?” and “All Things are Difficult Before They Are Easy”. Mattie imbued in him her part...
  • Carla *Jen7waters*
    DNFI can't do this. It's so boring... -_-
  • Laura
    Crooked Heart was well written, witty and endearing. Noel, the orphan-boy in the story, was compellingly strange and unique. Vera, the money-grubbing, bottom  of the barrel scraping, system manipulating thief some how makes you root for her. Perhaps it's because her schemes are hilarious failures. Or maybe it's just because of her heart, and it's surprising enormity. The two of them make for quite the team, needless to say.So, why the 3 star rat...
  • Caroline
    I'm definitely not someone who seeks out books that can be described as 'heart-warming,' so I was wary of this book group choice. But it is also very funny, whip-smart clever, direct in exploring how grinding poverty and hunger can affect us, celebratory of suffragettes, and offers lovely and original descriptions. We had an interesting discussion about the moral quandaries and it presents to its characters. I appreciated that these were true to ...
  • Karen
    As surprising as this sounds, this was a heartwarming tale. I know WWII Historical doesn’t immediately bring up thoughts of humor and a smile on your face as you finish reading, but Crooked Hearts did that. This very unlikely duo has stolen my heart.Ten year old Noel is being evacuated to a safe place. Due to bomb threats a lack of shelters, like many children, he is taken from the comfort of his home and placed with a foster family in a safe l...
  • Luanne Ollivier
    Oh, I'm telling you right up front that Crooked Heart by Lissa Evans is going to be one of my top reads for 2015!It's the height of WWII and England is on high alert. Ten year old orphan Neil Bostock is evacuated from London. He lands with Vee - a small time con artist with a good heart, but not great luck. Neil is educated, precocious and misses his suffragette Godmother Mattie terribly. Neil and Vee seem like an unlikely pairing. But 'war makes...
  • Barbara
    Crooked Heart joins The Book Thief and The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe as books whose protagonists are youthful evacuees during WWII trying to find where they fit in with a new "family." Crooked Heart, however, lacks both the charming characters of The Book Thief and the adventure-filled plot of The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe.Noel is already adrift without family ties, when he lands on the doorstep of Vera (Vee) Sedge, a woman with a...
  • Anne
    Every so often a book comes along that makes you want to thrust it into people's hands and say "read this - it's wonderful". Crooked Heart by Lissa Evans was published by Doubleday (Transworld) on 6 November for Kindle and in hardback. As a quick look at the Amazon page will tell you, it's already gathered a large number of impressive comments from people who certainly know about these things. Such praise sometimes worries me, and books sometimes...
  • Suze Lavender
    Noel is a very smart boy who is living in London with his godmother. When she becomes more and more forgetful Noel has to shoulder many responsibilities at a very young age. The German's are bombing London and it looks like the Second World War is going to take a while, so all the children need to be evacuated. At first Noel manages to stay, but then the inevitable happens to his godmother and he has to live somewhere else. His new carers think h...
  • ❀⊱Rory⊰❀
    Noel is a lonely, rather odd little boy evacuated out of London during World War II and Vee is the anxious, frazzled woman who takes him into her home. Their friendship doesn't begin well; it reminded me of this from Something Fresh by P.G. Wodehouse, "Each, in fact, was to the other a perpetual freak show, with no charge for admission." Eventually, after Noel proves to be a great help to Vee, things begin to change; "She was used to his conversa...
  • Bob Schnell
    Advanced Reading Copy review To be published July 28, 2015"Crooked Heart" is a dark comedy that could have been more aptly titled "Paper Moon Over England". Vera is a single mother to a layabout adult son and Noel is an orphaned evacuee from London during the Blitz. As individuals they are pretty hopeless, but they make a good team when it comes to running a charity scam. It seems everyone in Great Britain is running some sort of con in this nove...
  • Ali
    This was my first novel by Lissa Evans – but it certainly won’t be my last. I recently saw the film Their Finest – (which I loved) but only learned later that it was adapted from a novel by Lissa Evans, who I have followed on social media for a couple of years.The characterisation in Crooked Heart, is just superb – and it occurred to me while reading how visual this novel is (if that makes sense). The author quite obviously binging her ex...
  • Beadyjan
    A completely captivating and utterly charming read. Set amidst the uncertainty and struggle of world war 2 it tells the story of young orphan, Noel an unprepossessing lad who has few friends, sticking out ears and a love of books and an extensive vocabulary which can make him come across as pompous.Noel has spent his formative years being brought up by his revered Aunt Mattie an opinionated ex suffragette. Watching her slide into senile dementia ...
  • Anne
    There are lots of recently published books that are set during World War II, it would be easy to say that the subject has been done to death, and then, just when you don't expect it, you come across a story like Crooked Heart. This is a story that will pull the heartstrings with it's central character of Noel and his temporary mother Vera. Two characters who are original, and quirky and completely fabulous creations. Their story is like no other,...
  • Vanessa
    You can definitely tell that Evans is a comedy professional. This book hums with subtle humour on every page. It's really very, very funny a lot of the time, and touching without being sentimental. There are nuggets of joy throughout, in the deftly developed relationship between abandoned Noel and professional failure, Vee. Evans evokes the wartime period very well, especially the confusion and claustrophobia of the air raids. The point of view s...
  • Rebecca
    I just wrote a really carefully developed rave review of this wonderful book and then the computer burped and it disappeared. I am very sad. However, it is a rare and lovely book: controlled, wry, funny, heart-breaking, and insightful. It's beautifully written--even the cover is gorgeous!--and I want to go buy myself a copy to keep. Evans manages to take us into Vee's and Noel's worlds, and she creates unprepossessing characters who eventually wi...
  • Mij Woodward
    What a delight to read.Every page a feast of comedic characters and situations.Though flawed, each character makes you want to root for them and their schemes. Noel, Vee, & Don. Mattie and Mrs. Gifford. They are endeared to me.Some might say the ending is too neat, too easy.But note to self: do not try to put a realistic sensible ending onto a hilarious plot. Just enjoy the ride.Oh, along the way, learn some things you have never thought of befor...
  • Bobbie
    I seem to be on a roll with WWII books and books about orphans lately, not intentionally but it has just happened. I would probably not have found this book except for it being assigned for our library book club. I am anxious to go to the meeting to hear the opinions of the other members. As for myself, this book really held my interest and I was drawn to this little orphan boy in a sad situation. As for the other characters, I had very little em...
  • Cleo Bannister
    This wasn’t what I expected at all although I knew it was set in WWII I didn’t expect the direction it took, and I dare anyone to read this and not fall in love the boy at the centre of the story, Noel.Noel is ten years old, lives with his godmother, Mattie in Hampstead. Mattie was a suffragette, a woman who enjoys giving Noel some of her hard-won lessons in sound-bites but she is also a woman, who is slowly becoming more and more forgetful. ...