We are currently making improvements to the Audible site. In an effort to enhance the accessibility experience for our customers, we have created a page to more easily navigate the new experience, available at the web address www.audible.com/access .
 >   > 
Crooked Heart Audiobook

Crooked Heart: A Novel

Regular Price:$20.78
  • Membership Details:
    • First book free with 30-day trial
    • $14.95/month thereafter for your choice of 1 new book each month
    • Cancel easily anytime
    • Exchange books you don't like
    • All selected books are yours to keep, even if you cancel
  • - or -

Publisher's Summary

Paper Moon meets the Blitz in this original black comedy, set in World War II England, chronicling an unlikely alliance between a small-time con artist and a young orphan evacuee.

When Noel Bostock - aged 10, no family - is evacuated from London to escape the Nazi bombardment, he lands in a suburb northwest of the city with Vera Sedge - a 36-year-old widow drowning in debts and dependents. Always desperate for money, she's unscrupulous about how she gets it.

Noel's mourning his godmother, Mattie, a former suffragette. Wise beyond his years, raised with a disdain for authority and an eclectic attitude toward education, he has little in common with other children and even less with the impulsive Vee, who hurtles from one self-made crisis to the next. The war's provided unprecedented opportunities for making money, but what Vee needs - and what she's never had - is a cool head and the ability to make a plan.

On her own she's a disaster. With Noel she's a team.

Together they cook up a scheme. Crisscrossing the bombed suburbs of London, Vee starts to make a profit, and Noel begins to regain his interest in life. But there are plenty of other people making money out of the war - and some of them are dangerous. Noel may have been moved to safety, but he isn't actually safe at all....

©2015 Lissa Evans (P)2015 HarperCollins Publishers

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.5 (50 )
5 star
 (30)
4 star
 (14)
3 star
 (6)
2 star
 (0)
1 star
 (0)
Overall
4.4 (46 )
5 star
 (25)
4 star
 (13)
3 star
 (8)
2 star
 (0)
1 star
 (0)
Story
4.7 (46 )
5 star
 (37)
4 star
 (6)
3 star
 (3)
2 star
 (0)
1 star
 (0)
Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    Sara 04-24-16
    Sara 04-24-16

    Avid Reader

    HELPFUL VOTES
    10068
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    378
    324
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    455
    3
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Surviving The Blitz In WWII Great Britain"

    This novel puts a flawed but human face on the good, the bad and the ugly of WWII England survival and family life. At first I hated the characters and thought seriously twice of abandoning the book. I encourage others to keep going with the story and push past the unlikable early few hours of listening. To me, it was more than worth it in the end. The writing is pithy, funny, poignant and really good.

    The narration was top notch. Perfect timing, accents and voice changes for different characters. The excellent narration was the driving force behind my sticking with the book.

    Recommended if you are interested in stories about WWII and life during the Blitz. Engaging, balanced and touching without any sugary sweetness. This was a book I went from really just hating to loving over the course of listening. Excellent.

    25 of 26 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Janice Sugar Land, TX, United States 07-07-16
    Janice Sugar Land, TX, United States 07-07-16 Member Since 2010

    Rating scale: 5=Loved it, 4=Liked it, 3=Ok, 2=Disappointed, 1=Hated it. I look for well developed characters, compelling stories.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    3391
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    309
    244
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    636
    4
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Fifty shades of right and wrong"

    Going into this I think I had an idea it might be a riff on Oliver Twist and Fagin, but that wasn’t the case (thankfully). But this also wasn’t a hearty pep rally for noble sacrifices made during the Blitz. This showed the seamier side of people already living on slim margins made nearly unbearable by wartime shortages and restrictions. Creative survival was not always nice and was often dark, ugly and dangerous.

    Vera Sledge’s acceptance of orphan Noel as her foster evacuee was no altruistic wartime contribution – it was an opportunity to exploit him for fraudulent fund raising. Thing is, everyone else in the picture was finding their own way to scam the system – Vera’s son, shopkeepers, the Home Guard - everyone seemed to be on the make. Half way through the story I wondered where was London’s make-do resilience? The stiff upper lip for King and Country? I couldn’t feel connected to anyone – mainly because none of the characters really connected emotionally to each other. It was All for One as long as the One is Me.

    But there are shades of right and wrong, and Noel can make the distinction between what was legally wrong but morally right, and what was just plain wrong. Within the grey areas of their enterprise, Noel becomes the voice of conscience demanding justice for crimes committed out of greed and malice. As Vera found the beginnings of an affection for him, I began to find an affection for her. When Noel is in peril she shakes out of her self-absorbed anxiety to save him, and finally I was all-in. My take on the story improved exponentially. Karen Cass’s 10 star narration covered differences in accents, ages and genders with a light touch that avoided overacting and caricature. I enjoyed this listen more than I would likely have done reading the text. In the end, a fond recommendation.

    6 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mary Portland, OR, United States 08-21-15
    Mary Portland, OR, United States 08-21-15 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
    42
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    46
    38
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Didn't want this to end!"

    I almost didn't want to keep listening because I didn't want the story to end. The narrator is outstanding, making clearly delineated characters with a variety of British accents. The story centers around a child evacuee during the London Blitz in WWII but is really so much more. While it gives a very good picture of what the blitz was like it also shows the many sides of human nature during a life-and-death period during England's "finest hour." I especially enjoyed the touches of humor.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Weber 07-27-16
    Weber 07-27-16 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    9
    3
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "it was a nice story but..."

    It was a nice story but difficult to follow in audio. The different stories bounce back and forth and causes a blur of characters and plot. Not too bad but enough to confuse for a moment or two.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ruth Bain 10-15-15
    Ruth Bain 10-15-15

    RueRue

    HELPFUL VOTES
    1053
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    485
    478
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    58
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A nice surprise"

    Wow, this is really a nice surprise. There are SO many books about WWII, and this one finds a way to be a bit different. Humorous and emotional. The characters are great, not perfect, and some aren't even likable, but each one is interesting. Absolutely first rate narration !

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    e Reader 04-10-16
    e Reader 04-10-16

    elainekelly2

    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    9
    1
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A good story; superb narration."

    This one really deserves 3.5 stars. It's a good story, fairly predictable in many ways. However, the language is a particular delight (e.g., "his teeth were like old toenails") and Vera's character is brilliantly depicted.

    I do think that the narration takes this one up a full star. Cass does a brilliant job with accents that play with class, gender, age and even country. Pure joy to listen to.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful

Report Inappropriate Content

If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.

Cancel

Thank you.

Your report has been received. It will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.