Now a major film starring Gemma Arterton and Bill Nighy
A black comedy about the making of a propaganda film in World War II, destined to become a classic britflick
Now a major film starring Gemma Arterton, Sam Claflin and Bill Nighy.
It's 1940. In a small advertising agency in Soho, Catrin Cole writes snappy lines for Vida Elastic and So-Bee-Fee gravy browning. But the nation is in peril, all skills are transferable and there's a place in the war effort for those who have a knack with words.
Catrin is conscripted into the world of propaganda films. After a short spell promoting the joy of swedes for the Ministry of Food, she finds herself writing dialogue for 'Just an Ordinary Wednesday', a heart-warming but largely fabricated 'true story' about rescue and romance on the beaches of Dunkirk. And as bombs start to fall on London, she discovers that there's just as much drama, comedy and passion behind the scenes as there is in front of the camera . . .
Originally published as Their Finest Hour and a Half
“[Lissa Evans] displays a fine eye for detail and for the absurdities involved in filming. She also brilliantly evokes the disruption and dangers of wartime London. This funny, heart-warming and beautifully crafted novel is a must-read”
“Beautifully written, minutely observed and researched, evocative and very funny tale”
Michele Hanson, Guardian
“Comic, poignant and altogether delightful, raised spirits are guaranteed”
“This is a comic novel, but far warmer in tone and broader in scope than that label would suggest...Gloriously observed...Hilliard is a wonderful creation - and Evans's recreated propaganda scripts are a total joy. Delicious”
“Pitch-perfect in tone and populated by some unforgettable characters, Lissa Evans's blackly comic new novel is a delight”
The Gloss Magazine
“Her Orange longlisted novel comes close to Michael Moorcock's Mother London, or even Sara Waters's The Night Watch, in illuminating not just the deprivations, but also the liberations of the war years”
“Her tale of artistes attempting a morale-boosting low-budget British film in 1941 is a joy...Evans knows exactly when to play scenes for their wry comedy and when to play things straight...the austerity of domestic life is beautifully caught...This is the truest and most enjoyable novel about home-front life I've read; it's touching and hilarious”
Christopher Fowler, Independent on Sunday
“The characters and their dialogue and the author's quiet humour are what make this really sing. It deserves to do really well.”
“A triumph...A compulsively readable tragi-comedy to savour. *****”
“This novel has clever narrative, lively dialogue and lyrical imagery. I loved the author's highly polished prose, whether sparkling with wit or achingly poignant. She creates a magical blend of humour and pathos. I enjoyed every page.”
New Books Magazine