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Extended Audio Sample Crooked Heart: A Novel Audiobook, by Lissa Evans Click for printable size audiobook cover
0 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 5 0.00 (0 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Lissa Evans Narrator: Karen Cass Publisher: HarperCollins Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: July 2015 ISBN: 9780062415448
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Paper Moon meets the Blitz in this original black comedy set in World War II England, chronicling an unlikely alliance between a small-time con artist and a young orphan evacuee.

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 is mourning his godmother Mattie, a former suffragette. Wise beyond his years, 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 make a profit and Noel begins to regain his interest in life. But there are plenty of other people making money out of the war—and some of them are dangerous. Noel may have been moved to safety, but he isn’t actually safe at all.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Glorious. I loved every line of this book.”

    Paula Hawkins, #1 New York Times bestselling author

  • “Vee and Noel are utter originals, and their journey made me laugh and cry.”

    Jojo Moyes, New York Times bestselling author

  • “Absorbing and atmospheric…This is a wonderfully old-fashioned Dickensian novel, with satisfying plot twists..Both darkly funny and deeply touching.”

    New York Times Book Review

  • “Brings effervescent wit and oddball whimsy to a venerable formula….The entire novel is a joy from start to finish.”

    Minneapolis Star Tribune

  • “Deceptively complex and utterly charming.”

    Sunday Mirror

  • “Wonderful.”

    Boston Globe

  • “A satisfying plot…but it’s the over-arching development of the lost little boy and the harried woman’s affection and admiration for one another that really tugs the reader’s own crooked heart.”

    Independent (London)

  • “The most purely charming read of the summer…The novel’s heart may be crooked, but it is completely in the right place.”

    Christian Science Monitor

  • “Evans has written an old-fashioned comedy of manners, which is heartwarming, without being mawkish, and extremely funny.”

    Daily Mail (London)

  • “What will become of this fragile, touching pair? It’s a mark of how charming this novel is that you worry.”

    Daily Express, four stars

  • Crooked Heart is a rewarding, addictive read…I recommend this darkly humorous, honest, and complex story. It is book club heaven.”


  • “Narrator Karen Cass brings charm and a touch of drama to this affecting story…Cass’ broad vocal register and ability to render a range of British accents bring authenticity to the dialogue…[and] excellent pacing…Listeners will be entranced by Cass’ portrayals of two lost souls who discover they make a good team and a solid family.”


  • “I’m pretty sure that Crooked Heart shows the real, practical, opportunistic, Blitz spirit. The chaotic, semiferal teaming up of Vera and Noel is as sparky and funny, charming and touching, but then every now and again comes the vertiginous feeling of peering into something unutterably, dangerously sad.”

    Louisa Young, author of My Dear I Wanted to Tell You

  • “I’m putting Crooked Heart on the shelf of my most treasured books.”

    India Knight, author of My Life on a Plate

  • “Tender, humane, funny, comforting, and touching. Escapism in the best possible way. I loved it.”

    Marian Keyes, author of The Mystery of Mercy Close

  • “Beautifully written, moving, funny—just perfect. I don’t usually like novels about the Second World War—I think, ‘What’s the point? The true stories are so good’—but this one, and Evelyn Waugh, are way up in a class of their own. Superb.”

    Juliet Gardiner, author of The Wartime Years

  • A LibraryReads Pick for July 2015
  • A 2016 RUSA Reading List Winner for Historical Fiction
  • A 2015 Baileys’ Women’s Prize for Fiction Longlist Selection
  • A BookPage Book of the Day
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About the Author

Lissa Evans has written books for both adults and children, including Their Finest Hour and a Half, longlisted for the Orange Prize, and Small Change for Stuart, shortlisted for many awards, including the Carnegie Medal and the Costa Book Awards.

About the Narrator

Karen Cass is a voice artist and AudioFile Earphones Award-winning narrator of more than thirty audiobooks.