Their Finest Hour and a Half
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Their Finest Hour and a Half : Now a major film starring Gemma Arterton and Bill Nighy

3.59 (766 ratings by Goodreads)
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Description

In 1940, every draft of every film script had to be approved by the Ministry of Information. Cast and crew were waiting to be called up at any moment, travel was restricted and filming was interrupted by regular bombing raids. And so it is that we find a disparate group of characters whose paths would never have crossed in peacetime: Ambrose Hilliard, a washed up old ham from the golden era of silent movies; Catrin Cole, formerly an advertising copywriter drafted in to 'write women' for the Ministry of Information; Edith Beadmore, a wardrobe assistant at Madame Tussauds; and Arthur Frith, peacetime catering manager turned wartime Special Military Advisor. This distinct group find themselves thrown together in the wilds of Norfolk to 'do their bit' on the latest propaganda film - a heart-warming tale of derring do, of two sisters who set out in a leaking old wooden boat to rescue the brave men trapped at Dunkirk. All completely fabricated, of course, but what does that matter when the nation's morale is at stake? Newly crowned actor, script-writer, costumier and military attache must swallow their mutual distaste, ill-will and mistrust and unite for the common good, for King and country, and - in one case - for better or worse...show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 416 pages
  • 128 x 194 x 28mm | 281.23g
  • Transworld Publishers Ltd
  • Black Swan
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 0552774715
  • 9780552774710
  • 95,767

Review quote

"[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" * Daily Mail * "Beautifully written, minutely observed and researched, evocative and very funny tale" -- Michele Hanson * Guardian * "Comic, poignant and altogether delightful, raised spirits are guaranteed" * Easy Living * "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" * The Times * "Pitch-perfect in tone and populated by some unforgettable characters, Lissa Evans's blackly comic new novel is a delight" * The Gloss Magazine *show more

About Lissa Evans

Lissa Evans has written books for both adults and children, including Their Finest Hour and a Half, longlisted for the Orange Prize, Small Change for Stuart, shortlisted for many awards including the Carnegie Medal and the Costa Book Awards and Crooked Heart, longlisted for the Baileys Women's Prize for Fiction.show more

Review Text

"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"show more

Back cover copy

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's 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...show more

Rating details

766 ratings
3.59 out of 5 stars
5 17% (129)
4 39% (301)
3 33% (252)
2 8% (65)
1 2% (19)
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