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The City Of Invention

The book reviews of UK children's author, Brian Keaney

Their Finest Hour and a Half

Their Finest Hour and a Half - Lissa Evans The setting of Their Finest Hour And A Half does not, on the face of it, sound tremendously promising. It’s the story of a group of individuals involved in producing propaganda films during the Second World War. Nevertheless, this is one of the most enjoyable novels I’ve read for some time.

There’s a diverse cast of characters – an insufferably vain actor, a shy seamstress, a socially inept lance-corporal, and a young female script-writer, none of whom really know what they’re doing but all of whom muddle through against the odds.

The author, Lissa Evans, has worked in tv and radio and was responsible for producing shows like Father Ted and Room 101. It’s clear that she knows the world she is describing, with all its petty vanities, job demarcation and endless minor interruptions. She has a superb eye for detail and manages to convey the sense of determined improvisation against the odds that must have made up so much of life on the Home Front.

Convincing, engaging and enormously amusing, this is a thoroughly enjoyable read.