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Their Finest Hour (and a half)

Abbey Park Book Club met on Monday evening in the Willow Tree to discuss our latest read, Their Finest Hour And A Half by Lissa Evans.
We began as a group just over 3 years ago by reading Old Baggage by the same author. We loved it so decided to try another of her books this time. Did we enjoy this book? Read on…

In 1940, every draft of every film script had to be approved by the Ministry of Information. Cast and crew were waiting to be called up at any moment, travel was restricted and filming was interrupted by regular bombing raids. And so it is that we find a disparate group of characters whose paths would never have crossed in peacetime: Ambrose Hilliard, a washed up old ham from the golden era of silent movies; Catrin Cole, formerly an advertising copywriter drafted in to 'write women' for the Ministry of Information; Edith Beadmore, a wardrobe assistant at Madame Tussauds; and Arthur Frith, peacetime catering manager turned wartime Special Military Advisor.

This distinct group find themselves thrown together in the wilds of Norfolk to 'do their bit' on the latest propaganda film - a heart-warming tale of derring do, of two sisters who set out in a leaking old wooden boat to rescue the brave men trapped at Dunkirk. All completely fabricated, of course, but what does that matter when the nation's morale is at stake? Newly crowned actor, script-writer, costumier and military attaché must swallow their mutual distaste, ill-will and mistrust and unite for the common good, for King and country, and - in one case - for better or worse...

The next meeting of Abbey Park Book Club will be on Monday 13th March at 7pm in the Willow Tree. The book we are reading for that meeting is Last Letter Home by Rachel Hore. New members always welcome.

Black Swan
Publishing date
RRP (paperback)
1 Jan. 2010
416 pages
Jenny says; The world of war-time London and film making are brought to life in incredible detail and with great humour in the face of tragedy. I enjoyed following Catrin and Edith's journey to independence and happiness. 7/10

Catherine says; a slow start to this book but then life in London in the Blitz is brought to life with sensitivity and humour. I loved the way people carried on regardless even when their houses or roads had been bombed, how films still had to be made and actors still had egos! 8/10

Ruth says; Having not read for quite some considerable time, I initially found it difficult to absorb the many characters. However, as the book progressed and the story unfolded it delighted my senses. The descriptions of war torn London, the challenges faced simply trying to get from A to B, their resilience and fortitude really brought the story to life. 8/10
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