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This Lovely City

Narrated by: Theo Solomon, Karise Yansen
Length: 10 hrs and 46 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (22 ratings)

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Summary

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 

Good Housekeeping Best of 2020 

Evening Standard Best books of 2020 

Mail on Sunday 2020 Highlights 

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. 

©2019 Louise Hare (P)2019 HarperCollins Publishers Limited

Critic reviews

"I loved, loved, loved it, and desperately wanted things to work out for Lawrie and Evie." (Cathy Rentzenbrink, Sunday Times best-selling author of The Last Act of Love)

"A tale to wring the heart and make the blood boil, swirling with post-war gloom, illuminated by the shining lights of Lawrie and Evie." (Saga)

"This atmospheric novel is a triumphant debut." (Woman & Home)

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

A MUST listen!

This Lovely City is a love story set in London in between 1848 and 1950 in the aftermath of the war and the arrival of HMS Windrush. It is beautifully written and performed. It is comparable to Small Island for its poignant description of the Windrush generation, invited to help rebuild the Mother Country after the war, who, instead of receiving gratitude and a warm welcome, faced racism and discrimination at every turn. The characters are all subtle and multi-faceted and it is impossible not to fall for the main protagonists, Evie and Lawrie. It is a wonderful listen, leaving me wishing to start all over again!

4 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

I truly wish times would change

I listened to this book at the time of the George Floyd murder. Those who want to educate themselves need to know how ingrained Racism is.

A great book. Made me remember my parents ‘welcome’ to theUK.

2 people found this helpful

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Great story

I really enjoyed listening to this book. Both the narrators have good clear voices and were able to provide convincing accents. Its a bitter sweet tale with several doses of harsh reality examining life in London as it must have been for the new arrivals from the Caribbean in the post war years. A really human story of love, death and motherhood told with compassion but without any sickly sweet romance. Really entertaining and intriguing.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

Compelling story line.

The story line was such that I was determined not to stop listening. I was disappointed however, I am sorry to say, with the narration by Karise Yansen. I just do nd it rather bland.

1 person found this helpful