Crooked Heart

Crooked Heart

A Novel

Book - 2015 | First U.S. edition.
Average Rating:
Rate this:
When Noel Bostock--aged ten, no family--is evacuated from London to escape the Nazi bombardment, he lands in a suburb northwest of the city with Vera Sedge--a thirty-six-year-old widow 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. Wise beyond his years and raised with a disdain for authority and an eclectic attitude toward education, he has little in common with other children, and even less with the impulsive Vee, who hurtles from one self-made crisis to the next. The war's provided unprecedented opportunities for making money, but what Vee needs--and what she's never had--is a cool head and the ability to make a plan. On her own, she's a disaster. With Noel, she's a team. Together they cook up a scheme. Crisscrossing the bombed suburbs of London, Vee starts to turn a profit and Noel begins to regain his interest in life. But there are plenty of other people making money off the war--and some of them are dangerous. Noel may have been moved to safety, but he isn't actually safe at all...
Publisher: New York, NY : Harper, [2015]
Edition: First U.S. edition.
Copyright Date: ©2015
ISBN: 9780062364838
Branch Call Number: EVANS
Characteristics: 282 pages ; 22 cm


From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment
Sep 16, 2020

I adored this book for the characters that are developed, the way the edges came off of everyone, and how war, even in fiction, is chillingly real.

Jul 25, 2018

What an fresh and interesting premise, told so well! I could not put this book down.

May 24, 2016

Basically good people doing bad things to survive. Granted all the difficulties of the two main characters' lives, I still think they could have found a way to support themselves without playing on the sympathies of other poor people and taking their money. It's not warm, or cute, or merely quirky; theft is theft. Maybe if Mattie had lived she could have figured it out. And perhaps the main two do, too; I quit reading 2/3 through.

May 05, 2016

This is a very nice novel for adults and young adults. The best character, the godmother, appears only in the prologue. The book is funny and warm.

Jan 26, 2016

What author Nick Hornby wrote on the jacket really captures this book's spirit: "At the cooked heart of this lovely novel is an odd-couple relationship...between an odd, clever, lonely boy, and a dodgy, desperate woman. Their reliance on each other is credible, touching, and funny."
I loved this book.

Jan 25, 2016

This book reminded me a bit of the British drama "Foyles war". Both include all the stuff going on in England during WWII among the "regular people". Tricks, scams, evacuees, black market, rationing etc. some of which are not well known. Good story of lonely people finding each other and making a go of it.

Jan 10, 2016

What a gem! CROOKED HEART is a true original which at times reminded me of the classic movie, Paper Moon. It is the story of two completely different and flawed individuals, the precocious 10-year old orphan Noel and Vee, the scheming 36-year old widow, who together form an unlikely but successful team running a charity scam. Their story is told against the background of the London Blitz during WWII. It is a tale of survival, loss, love, and the meaning of family. It is also an effective character study as the two protagonists change and evolve over the course of the novel. Even supporting characters seem fully developed under the skillful writing of author Lissa Evans. Above all, it is a very human story, all the more poignant because it is not told in a sugary or sentimental way. The darker aspects of Noel’s and Vee’s story are uniquely balanced with touches of humor. All in all, a very worthwhile read and one that stayed with me long after I finished it.

CoreneBee Dec 17, 2015

Crooked Hearts warms the heart. A charming book that chronicles the lives of the not-so-heroic during the Blitz.

Nov 03, 2015

Really enjoyed this book about a quirky group of people during WWII in Britain, especially a very bright little boy. wish we had more of this author's books.

Oct 16, 2015

Nancy Pearl recommendation 10/16/2015

View All Comments

Age Suitability

Add Age Suitability

There are no age suitabilities for this title yet.


Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.


Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.


Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number


Subject Headings


Find it at OPL

To Top