"A wonderful, heartwarming read." — Ruth Hogan, author of Keeper of Lost Things
From the USA Today bestselling author of The Brilliant Life of Eudora Honeysett comes a heartwarming story of found family, love, and making connections through books set against the bombing of London during WWII.
London, 1938: The bookstore just doesn’t feel the same to Gertie Bingham ever since the death of her beloved husband Harry. Bingham Books was a dream they shared together, and without Harry, Gertie wonders if it’s time to take her faithful old lab, Hemingway, and retire to the seaside. But fate has other plans for Gertie.
In Germany, Hitler is on the rise, and Jewish families are making the heart-wrenching decision to send their children away from the growing turmoil. After a nudge from her dear friend Charles, Gertie decides to take in one of these refugees, a headstrong teenage girl named Hedy. Willful and fearless, Hedy reminds Gertie of herself at the same age, and shows her that she can’t give up just yet. With the terrible threat of war on the horizon, the world needs people like Gertie Bingham and her bookshop.
When the Blitz begins and bombs whistle overhead, Gertie and Hedy come up with the idea to start an air raid book club. Together with neighbors and bookstore customers, they hold lively discussions of everything from Winnie the Pooh to Wuthering Heights. After all, a good book can do wonders to bolster people’s spirits, even in the most trying times.
But even the best book can only provide a temporary escape, and as the tragic reality of the war hits home, the book club faces unimaginable losses. They will need all the strength of their stories and the bonds they’ve formed to see them through to brighter days.
About the Author
After a career in bookselling and publishing, Annie Lyons published numerous books in the U.K. and The Brilliant Life of Eudora Honeysett in the U.S. When not working on her novels, she teaches creative writing. She lives in south-east London with her husband and two children.
“The Air Raid Book Club is a warm and tender tale about the power and healing of friendship and community and the magic of books. A diverse cast of characters are drawn together through Gertie and her bookshop, and in the face of all the fear and uncertainty that war brings they find strength in unity, and escape and solace in books. Annie writes her characters with humanity, humour and respect and their stories will stay with me for a very long time. A wonderful, heart-warming read.” — Ruth Hogan, author of The Keeper of Lost Things
“Annie Lyons has the rare gift of bringing an unfamiliar world alive in such a way that the reader drops right into the heart of the action....This is a book to be read and re-read—each time there will be something new to discover. It is a triumph of celebrating the touching but mundane happenings along with the more dramatic events of wartime.” — Celia Anderson, USA Today bestselling author
"A charming, uplifting story of resourceful women and the healing power of books." — Clare Chambers, author of Small Pleasures
"Annie Lyons has cleverly woven the horror and heartbreak of war with the resilience of human nature, the strength of love, and the importance of friends, and created a satisfying, funny, uplifting story that feels so authentic I longed to be in the village hall watching the Christmas revue! A fabulous story, perfect for fans of Lissa Evans and AJ Pearce. I adored it." — Kerry Barret, author of The Missing Wife
"Lyons (The Brilliant Life of Eudora Honeysett, 2020) engages readers with her well-developed characters and a dash of humor. Fans of Lisa Wingate and Madeline Martin will appreciate this uplifting story about a neighborhood banding together to support one another during the Blitz." — Booklist on The Air Raid Book Club
“Lyons has given her readers a sensitive, heartwarming examination of human connections, finding light in the darkness.” — Historical Novel Society
"One adorably British odd couple . . . Charming." — People on The Brilliant Life of Eudora Honeysett
“The Brilliant Life of Eudora Honeysett is an exquisitely poignant tale of life, friendship and facing death. In the latter, the author dares to explore a subject that many shy away from, but she does so with touching sensitivity, gentle humour and absolute honesty. Eudora’s courage, dignity and wry sense of fun are beautifully drawn as she takes the reader on the heart-breaking yet ultimately uplifting journey of her life and death. Everyone should read this book.” — Ruth Hogan, author of The Keeper of Lost Things and The Moon, the Stars, and Madame Burova
“The Air Raid Book Club is a total gem of a book - it completely swept me away” — Miranda Dickinson, The Sunday Times bestselling author of All My Love and Take a Look at Me Now
"Lyons’ characters are unique and wonderful, portrayed with a depth that allows readers to understand their motivations and empathize with them. . . . And yet the trio's unlikely camaraderie has the power to rejuvenate them all, showing that good friendship makes life worth living. A sensitive examination of human connections that can both damage and heal." — Kirkus Reviews on The Brilliant Life of Eudora Honeysett
"Witty, endearing . . . Lyons strikes a winning balance, reaching deep feelings while avoiding the traps of sentimentality." — Publishers Weekly on The Brilliant Life of Eudora Honeysett
"Lyons’ touching tale of intergenerational friendship is reminiscent of Frederik Backman’s A Man Called Ove . . . this is a thoroughly enchanting feel-good read." — Booklist on The Brilliant Life of Eudora Honeysett
"The Brilliant Life of Eudora Honeysett is filled with personable characters, witty dialogue and relatable moments. It’s a vibrant and humorous celebration of being alive and learning to say goodbye." — Bookpage
“A charming, thought-provoking story about the healing powers of friendship and love.” — Shelf Awareness