Good morning my loves!
Today’s post is a review of the wonderful Five Days of Fog by Anna Freeman. Ashamedly I had never heard of Anna Freeman before this little gem popped up on my twitter feed. I had however heard of her previous book, The Fair Fight. but hadn’t read it.
Once again I have the lovely Poppy to thank for this one. She has tweeted a picture of it and just reading the words on the front of the proof copy ‘my mum always said, a fistful of rings is as good as a knuckleduster’, I was sold on it immediately. Luckily, Poppy added me to the request list and I received a copy shortly after!
London, December, 1952. At the beginning of what will come to be known as the Great Smog, Ruby Palmer waits to be released from prison.
At home her daughter, Florrie, also waits, knowing that the moment her mother returns she herself will face a choice: stay where she is, in the heart of her matriarchal and criminal family, or leave it all to make a safer, duller life with a decent young man. But what will she do if she’s too crooked to go straight, and too good to go bad?
Over the next four days, as London grinds to a halt in impenetrable and poisonous fog, Florrie will have to find her own path and the courage to stumble along it.
Four Days of Fog follows the last days of a crumbling female gang in post-war London, in a fog so thick that you can’t see your own feet. It’s a story of family, of finding your way, and of deciphering a route through the greyest areas of morality.
The Great Smog was not a topic I knew a great deal about prior to reading this book, having said that, Five Days of Fog has ignited a fire within me to learn more about this fascinating time. I do love a bit of history and this one really grabbed me. Not only is it historically interesting, but the way that it weaves the tales of those who had to live and survive during this time is brilliant. As with the Great Smog, I also didn’t really know much about the female gangs of London during the 50’s in Britain, and found the relationships between family, both blood and the ‘gang family’, utterly compelling.
There were so many things that I loved about this book, so I’m going to list them all here. Prepare yourself folks!
1. The imagery
So, as you can imagine during this time, the air was thick with smog (it’s the Great Smog, duh!). The way that this is written is so vivid that I actually found myself coughing while reading it. I could picture the locations in my mind so clearly and it really enhanced the whole reading experience.
2. The relationships
There were so many brilliant relationships in this book, and while they weren’t all ‘healthy’ I found myself sucked in by them, and while I could see the that the relationships were potentially dangerous, I feel like I would have done the same in Florrie’s situation.
Florrie has to be one of my favourite literary characters of all time. I love that she has a good heart, and while she is desperate to get out of the gang life and get on the straight and narrow, she is also completely loyal to her family. I really identified with her internal struggles.
I really could go on and on about all of the things I loved about this book, but in all honesty, you need to read it for yourself to understand.
I will apologise right now, the book isn’t actually available until the 1st of November… I’m so sorry! I promise you though it will absolutely worth the wait!
Peace and pages