Carly Thompson's Reviews > Ha'penny

Ha'penny by Jo Walton
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's review
Jul 27, 2012

it was amazing
bookshelves: 2012, anglophilia, arrt, historical-fiction
Read from July 27 to 30, 2012

I loved this book and thought it was even better than the first. Walton continues her blend of historical mystery and alternate history. Inspector Carmichael from the first book returns and this time he is investigating a bombing plot. The point of view changes from 3rd person in the Carmichael sections to 1st person in the sections narrated by Viola Lark, a British actress starring as Hamlet in a West End production who becomes involved in a plot to assassinate Hitler (who is visiting England) and the fascist leaning British Prime Minister. I loved the character of Viola and the clear homage to the Mitford sisters in the storyline of her and her sisters. Since Walton is writing alternate history there is tons of suspense as to whether the plot to kill Hitler will be successful in a way that traditional historical fiction is not. The examination of how a country slows slides towards Fascism was very well done. I noticed when I was reading this book how angry I was becoming at the British people who were friends with Hitler and allowing fascism to develop in Great Britain; interesting how important the cultural narrative of the British as staunch defenders of liberty against Nazism was to me. Highly recommended.

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