This Lovely City
In 1948, the Empire Windrush arrived in Essex, London, carrying 492 Jamaican immigrants who were recruited by the British government to help rebuild the economy after WWII. In her debut novel, Louise Hare tells a fictional story about young love, prejudice, and home. Recent immigrant Lawrie Matthews works as a postman by day and a jazz musician by night. In between, he makes time to woo the girl next door. When Lawrie discovers something terrible on his way to work one day, he becomes the number one suspect, despite all evidence to the contrary. The community turns against him in a show of xenophobia and racism; his hopes seem all but dashed. His friends want to help but fear getting wrapped up in danger themselves, leaving it up to Lawrie's love interest to step in. Hare writes a mystery wrapped in a romance, with vibrant historical detail.
An atmospheric and utterly compelling debut novel about a Jamaican immigrant living in postwar London, This Lovely City shows that new arrivals have always been the prime suspects ― but that even in the face of anger and fear, there is always hope.
London, 1950. With the war over and London still rebuilding, jazz musician Lawrie Matthews has answered England’s call for labour. Arriving from Jamaica aboard the Empire Windrush, he’s rented a tiny room in south London and fallen in love with the girl next door.
Playing in Soho’s jazz clubs by night and pacing the streets as a postman by day, Lawrie has poured his heart into his new home ― and it’s alive with possibility. Until one morning, while crossing a misty common, he makes a terrible discovery.
As the local community rallies, fingers of blame point at those who were recently welcomed with open arms. And before long, London’s newest arrivals become the prime suspects in a tragedy that threatens to tear the city apart. Immersive, poignant, and utterly compelling, Louise Hare’s debut examines the complexities of love and belonging, and teaches us that even in the face of anger and fear, there is always hope.