V for Victory by Lissa Evans
But they share a secret, and Vee is constantly fretting the authorities will find out. When she witnesses a road accident, and is summoned to court, she is terrified. But it leads to a beautiful friendship – dare she hope romance? – which, unfortunately, drives a wedge between her and Noel. He, meanwhile, is on the verge of his own exciting new relationship, but will it deliver what he hopes?
I loved the dynamics between Noel and Vee, and his disapproval of her potential sexual reawakening just as he’s discovering his own. Like her previous novel, Old Baggage, one of my favourite reads of 2018, the tone is light but with complex and serious undertones. Just as that is a moving tribute to the campaign for women’s suffrage, V for Victory celebrates women’s resilience and bravery on the home front, as well as hinting at what’s lost when the men come home. This is particularly poignantly portrayed in the character of Winnie, an ARP warden managing a small team of men while her husband languishes in a POW camp.
It’s a lovely read, with enviably lively and witty prose, although perhaps at first, amid the quirks of the cast of lodgers, I felt some of the humour came at the expense of story, especially as Lissa Evans does disappointment so brilliantly. V for Victory is published by Doubleday to whom thanks for my advance proof copy.
I Am Not Sidney Poitier by Percival Everett
There’s also stuff about an American TV show I’ve never heard of and Bill Cosby mockery that passed me by – I know who he is but little of his trajectory from fame to infamy. More readily available in the US, it was recently published by small UK independent press Influx, from whom I purchased my paperback copy. For a more enthusiastic review, check out A Life in Books.