V For Victory by Lissa Evans

The third book in this series, where we follow Vee, Noel and Mattie and all the other delightful characters.  They can be read as standalones, but the characters are so wonderfully vivid you get a real sense of knowing them, and adds so much more, if read as a trilogy.



It’s late 1944. Hitler’s rockets are slamming down on London with vicious regularity and it’s the coldest winter in living memory. Allied victory is on its way, but it’s bloody well dragging its feet.

In a large house next to Hampstead Heath, Vee Sedge is just about scraping by, with a herd of lodgers to feed, and her young charge Noel (almost fifteen) to clothe and educate. When she witnesses a road accident and finds herself in court, the repercussions are both unexpectedly marvellous and potentially disastrous – disastrous because Vee is not actually the person she’s pretending to be, and neither is Noel.

The end of the war won’t just mean peace, but discovery…

With caustic wit and artful storytelling, Lissa Evans elegantly summons a time when the world could finally hope to emerge from the chaos of war. As sharply comic as Old Baggage and emotionally poignant as Crooked Heart, V For Victory once again shows Lissa Evans to be one of our most brilliant and subtle writers.


V for victory cover


I found this another great read from the author. Although it could be read as a standalone, I think it would defiantly make for an even better read if read as part of the series. I have read Old Baggage, so was familiar with Matttie and Winnie, but haven’t yet  read Crocked Heart, so felt I lost out on something there in regards to back story on Vee.

We meet up again with Vee and Noel in Mattie’s old house that Vee runs as a boarding house with some wonderful characters as lodgers. Vee ever fearful that her true identity will be discovered in this time where all names and facts are always being checked out.

We meet the lodgers as the book progresses and an American serviceman that Vee encounters after a traumatic incident whilst waiting for the bus. They become friends and Vee gets a chance to grab a little bit of fun during these very hard times.

The war is coming to its end but bombs are still falling and there is still the fear that someone could be hurt any time.  This is expertly portrayed with the checking of where an explosion has happened each time something is heard. The fear of being away from loved ones on a daily basis, never knowing if something was going to happen, must have been terrifying, even still after such a long time. There is a great balance, throughout the story,  of fear and worry but with it all being dealt with as something so ordinary.

The author always writes with such realness and sincerity that theses characters just leap of the page. All their worries and concerns swimming around in their mind as they face the day to day struggles through WW2, yet they manage to shine and give such enjoyment to the reader. London at the end of the war was brilliantly described with the use of some fantastic vocabulary. I loved the character of Winnie and her job as a warden are realistically described and you could tell the author had done a lot of research on this subject. Winnie now married but hardly knows her husband, as he was sent to war not long after they wed.  He writes often with wonderful letters about how their home and future will look, but Winnie can’t help but think of how much she has changed over the last few years and what she has now realised she is capable of.

Noel and Vee’s vulnerability was touchingly vivid throughout the book, but so too were there wonderful characteristics. I now need to read Crocked Heart to piece this wonderful series together.

Thank you to Ruth Richardson of Transworld books for sending me a link to this book to download via Netgalley. V for Victory is out now!


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