The drinks are flowing. The music’s playing. But the party can’t last.
London, 1950. With the Blitz over and London still rebuilding after the war, jazz musician Lawrie Matthews has answered England’s call for help. Arriving from Jamaica aboard 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, while crossing a misty common, 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, London’s newest arrivals become the prime suspects in a tragedy which threatens to tear the city apart. Immersive, poignant, and utterly compelling, Louise Hare’s debut examines the complexities of love and belonging, and teaches us that even in the face of anger and fear, there is always hope.
This is historical fiction set in London soon after WW2 and is so redolent with atmosphere you can almost smell it.
Lawrie had arrived in London on the ship, Empire Windrush, he’s now a postman by day and an aspiring musician at night. He’s also in love with Evie, but they face many difficult challenges to say the least. They just want a quiet life together.
One day, Lawrie hears a woman shouting and a baby is found in a pond, regrettably they baby doesn’t survive. The police immediately suspect the Jamaican community just because the baby had dark skin…….but can the truth be found?
While this is a murder mystery, I felt it so much more as it deals with the reality of the horrific discrimination and abuse the ‘Windrush’ generation deal with on a daily basis, truly shameful.
This is beautifully, movingly narrated by Theo Solomon and Karise Yansen, and with the Jazz music at the beginning of chapters, they really brought this wonderful tale to life. One that will stay with me for a long time.
Thank you to Joe at HQ for the opportunity to take part in this Audio Blog Tour, for the promotional material and a free copy of the Audiobook. This is my honest and unbiased review.
Available from Audiobooks.co.uk
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Louise Hare is a London-based writer and has an MA in Creative Writing from Birkbeck, University of London. Originally from Warrington, the capital is the inspiration for much of her work, including This Lovely City, which began life after a trip into the deep level shelter below Clapham Common.