London in the aftermath of war: children run wild on East End bombsites, while their elders strive for better lives in a country beggared by victory. Clarence and Bernadette Malcolm have come five thousand miles in search of prosperity, but find the Mother Country not at all as has been promised them; Solly and Dora Lazarus, too, are strangers in a strange land, struggling to belong even as they try to make sense of their past; and Michael and Mary Lockhart take with both hands all that the world owes them, wherever it leads them, whatever the cost. In the street markets and tenements of Bethnal Green the three families live and work together in uneasy harmony, until Michael shatters the balance between them, his hunger for betterment changing the courses of all their lives over decades and generations.
Reaching across forty years and capturing a city and a people in a time of tumultuous change, What Was Promised is a breathtaking novel by a master storyteller.
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
Number of pages: 384
Weight: 268 g
Dimensions: 198 x 129 mm
What Was Promised vibrates with the polyphonic sounds of London in the aftermath of the war, carrying the reader through the hopes and needs of ensuing generations. Hill writes with magnificent poise, seducing us through the prism of lives in the book with his buoyant, mischievous prose * Nikita Lalwani *
Beginning after the Second World War and ending 40 years on, this is a portrait of London and its citizens: grubby, thieving, vibrant, drawn from many continents and rendered poetic by Hill's prose * Vogue *
Hill's writing has a stunning economy and control * The Times *
Mr Hill's book has many strengths. First is the depiction of London itself ... Second is the dialogue, such as the louche fashion photographer telling a woman she's a "knockout" ... Third is a male writer's impressive depiction of female experience ... He deserves high praise * Economist *
Hill has created a dazzling and deeply affecting portrait of a city struggling back to prosperity and of the resilience of its people. It is a novel that questions the idea of home, and what it means to belong, and should secure Hill's reputation as one of the outstanding writers of his generation * Observer *