Crooked Heart Discussion Guide: Home
Photo courtesy of The New York Times.
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Articles, Interviews, and Reviews
- An Unlikely Pair Form A Wily Duo In 'Crooked Heart'NPR, July 25, 2015
- Baileys women's prize for fiction longlist - in picturesThe Guardian, March 10, 2015
- One Minute With: Lissa EvansThe Independent, March 5, 2009
- Q&A with Lissa Evanslissaevans.com
Other Books by Lissa Evans
- Their Finest Hour and a Half byISBN: 9780385614238Publication Date: 2009It's 1940. In a small advertising agency in Soho, London, 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 ...
- Odd One Out byISBN: 9780670912032Publication Date: 2004Some are born odd, some achieve oddness, and some are just in the wrong place at the wrong time The Devon family's a good example: there's thirty-nine-year-old Glenn, whose main interest in life is rubbish collection; his mother, Bel, who teaches tap steps to eight-year-olds but acts as if she's running the Kirov; and his sister, Netta, who spent her early life simply being considered mad by association. Which is why she's dreading six weeks back in their company, helping them move house. Also struggling to conform are Paul Gooding, a newly qualified doctor with a highly embarrassing past; his flatmate, Armand, who's obsessed with foot hygiene; and his colleague, Carrie, who (inadvertently) keeps killing people. Odd One Out. When enough people are out of step, they can form an army of their own.
- Spencer's List byISBN: 9780141006918Publication Date: 2002Spencer’s ex-partner Mark has died, leaving him a hundred and thirty-seven snails and a list of London tourist sites to be visited by the end of the year, if he can prise himself off the sofa. His friend Fran co-owns a house worth thirty thousand less than she paid for it, meaning she’s trapped with her pathologically sensible brother and his girlfriend Sylvie, a woman with delicate wrists and a repulsive cat. Fran’s neighbour Iris has a dull job, a clinging father and two enormous teenage sons who have never met their father. Spencer’s List is about friendship, jealousy, grief and snails; it’s about getting stuck, and then getting unstuck again.
1. Probably the best place to start with this book is this: what did you think about the characters? Were your attitudes toward them different at the beginning of the book then they were by the end? If so, how do the characters change from start to finish? Or if the characters don't change, what does?
2. Most novels about World War II and the London Blitz focus on characters' heroism and bravery. What do you think about Evans's approach—honing in on characters who are hardly heroic, who take advantage of the generosity of others in times of crisis? Do desparate circumstances excuse Noel and Vee? Which type of person—the scoundrel or hero—is more prevalent in humanity...or in ourselves?
3. Reviewers are like Polonious in Hamlet, referring to Crooked Heart as comical-tragical, tragical-comical.... What do you think? Is it one...or the other...or both? If both, where does the line between comedy and tragedy fall (or blur)? Point to some areas where the writing is particularly humorous...or to other areas where it's not.
4. Lots of twists and turns in this novel: did you "see it coming"...or where you taken by surprise at the turn of events. Reviewers frequently mention Dickens. Do you see parallels?
5. Satisfying ending...or not?
(Questions by LitLovers)
Join the Discussion
- R.E.A.D. (Read, Eat, and Discuss) at the Palisades Free LibraryThursday, February 18 at 7:00 pm
- All the Light We Cannot See byISBN: 9781476746586When she is six, Marie-Laure goes blind and her father builds a perfect miniature of their neighborhood so she can memorize it by touch and navigate her way home. When she is twelve, the Nazis occupy Paris and father and daughter flee to the walled citadel of Saint-Malo, where Marie-Laure's reclusive great-uncle lives in a tall house by the sea. With them they carry what might be the museum's most valuable and dangerous jewel. In a mining town in Germany, the orphan Werner grows up with his younger sister, enchanted by a crude radio they find. Werner becomes an expert at building and fixing these crucial new instruments, a talent that wins him a place at a brutal academy for Hitler Youth, then a special assignment to track the resistance. More and more aware of the human cost of his intelligence, Werner travels through the heart of the war and, finally, into Saint-Malo, where his story and Marie-Laure's converge.
- Bring up the Bodies byISBN: 9780805090031Though he battled for seven years to marry her, Henry is disenchanted with Anne Boleyn. She has failed to give him a son and her sharp intelligence and audacious will alienate his old friends and the noble families of England. When the discarded Katherine dies in exile from the court, Anne stands starkly exposed, the focus of gossip and malice. At a word from Henry, Thomas Cromwell is ready to bring her down. Over three terrifying weeks, Anne is ensnared in a web of conspiracy, while the demure Jane Seymour stands waiting her turn for the poisoned wedding ring. But Anne and her powerful family will not yield without a ferocious struggle.
- Slaughterhouse-Five byISBN: 9780440180296Centering on the infamous fire-bombing of Dresden, Billy Pilgrim's odyssey through time reflects the mythic journey of our own fractured lives as we search for meaning in what we are afraid to know.