A Brave New World
This Lovely City by Louise Hare is a marvellous historical murder mystery. It is a fabulous debut novel set between 1948 and 1950.
The war is over. Britain needs rebuilding but hasn’t the population to do it so an invite is issued to Jamaican men to come over and start a glorious new life… but the reality is very different. “It didn’t matter what his passport said. A man with a black skin could never be considered British.” The Windrush men find that that they were lied to, racial prejudice is rife. “People looked and decided what he was without knowing a single thing about him.” There were terrible crimes committed against the men even from those in authority. Men were judged as guilty merely on the colour of their skin. It is horrifying to witness for the modern reader. These men were helping to rebuild Britain and yet they were judged and assaulted for the crime of being black.
Mixed race relationships did occur but they were frowned upon and any children were judged too. It was a terrible, shameful time.
Unmarried mothers were also looked down on and shipped off to the countryside to give birth and then forced to give babies up for adoption. They were seen as bringing shame to their families. It was awful for those poor women and babies.
There are some kind hearts within the novel who help where they can, seeing the goodness in others and not the colour of their skin.
This Lovely City introduces the reader to post war Britain. It should be a time of freedom but there is prejudice, poverty and rationing continues.
Louise Hare is a talented new author who elicits feelings from the reader as we travel through her book. She has captured the atmosphere of the time. I am looking forward to much more by her.
I received this book for free. A favourable review was not required and all views expressed are my own.