This Lovely City

This Lovely City

Louise Hare

Pub date
A4 153x221mm
400 pages
Download jacket

Book Overview

Indie Book of the Month for March, selected by the Booksellers Association

One of OBSERVER’S 10 best debut novelists of 2020
WOMAN & HOME Best of 2020
EVENING STANDARD Best books of 2020
MAIL ON SUNDAY 2020 Highlights

I Best of 2020


‘Full of life and love… it made my heart soar, and should be on every Londoner’s shelf’ Stacey Halls

‘I loved, loved, loved it’ Cathy Rentzenbrink

‘Full to the brim with such complete joys and heart-aching tragedies … you can feel the warmth and colour emanating from the pages’
Magic Radio Book Club, Book of the Month

‘Hotly anticipated debut’
The Sunday Times

‘Mistress of suspense, Hare keeps us guessing till the end’
Daily Mail

‘A thought-provoking and imaginative debut’
Woman & Home, Book of the Month

‘Expect to be obsessed . . . [a book] you need to know about’
Good Housekeeping

‘Fans of Zadie Smith and Andrea Levy won’t want to miss Louise Hare’s enthralling debut novel’

‘Atmospheric debut [with] characters you can’t help but feel drawn to’

‘Poignant and authentic’


The drinks are flowing.
The music is playing.
But the party can’t last.

With the Blitz over and London reeling from war, jazz musician Lawrie Matthews has answered England’s call for help. Fresh off the Empire Windrush, he’s taken a tiny room in south London lodgings, and has fallen in love with the girl next door.

Touring Soho’s music halls by night, pacing the streets as a postman by day, Lawrie has poured his heart into his new home – and it’s alive with possibility. Until, one morning, he makes a terrible discovery.

As the local community rallies, fingers of blame are pointed at those who had recently been welcomed with open arms. And, before long, the newest arrivals become the prime suspects in a tragedy which threatens to tear the city apart.

Atmospheric, poignant and compelling, Louise Hare’s debut shows that new arrivals have always been the prime suspects. But, also, that there is always hope.

About the author

Louise Hare is a London-based writer and has an MA in Creative Writing from Birkbeck, University of London. Originally from Warrington, the capital is the inspiration for much of her work, including This Lovely City, which began life after a trip into the deep level shelter below Clapham Common.


  • ‘Superb… compelling storytelling, beautifully drawn characters and atmosphere that’s deeply immersive’Harriet Tyce, author of Blood Orange
  • ‘This Lovely City is a beguiling, atmospheric and important novel, with wonderful, memorable characters and a vital message about love, loyalty and hope’Caroline Lea, author of The Glass Woman
  • ‘A story about solidarity and love but above all hope’Zoella
  • ‘Tense … this thoughtful novel captures what life was like for the Windrush generation’Good Housekeeping
  • ‘[An] atmospheric debut novel … a thought-provoking mystery’Woman & Home
  • ‘Hotly tipped debut’Metro
  • ‘A tale to wring the heart and make the blood boil, swirling with post-war gloom, illuminated by the shining lights of Lawrie and Evie’Saga
  • ‘You’ll be rooting for the pair from start to finish’Glamour
  • ‘Tenderly evokes the experiences of the Windrush generation in post-war London’Independent
  • ‘Hare’s enthralling novel pulls off the rare trick of being a clever murder mystery, an evocative portrayal of Windrush London and a genuinely touching love story’i
  • ‘A twisty delight, offering a timely illumination of enduring cultural tensions’Mail on Sunday
  • ‘Poignant and authentic … her steady, calm prose and the animating authenticity of her material that make it so hard to resist’Observer
  • ‘Paints a vivid picture of what life was really like for the Windrush generation. Fans of Andrea Levy’s Small Island will love it’Red
  • ‘Louise hare writes so effortlessly. It was a joy to read’Woman’s Weekly
  • ‘Heartfelt … brimming with nostalgia’Prima
  • ‘An immensely readable novel about 1950s Brixton and the magic of jazz’Grazia
  • ‘A timely first novel of real promise. Confidently written, compellingly plotted and atmospheric in its portrayal of post-war London’Mail on Sunday