Author: Anne Freeman
Genre: Historical Fiction
Format: Paperback 320 pages
Release Date: 15 November 2018
Publisher: Orion Publishing
I would like to thank the publisher and the author for the opportunity to read this book via NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own. I would also like to say happy publication day as Five Days of Fog is now available for everyone to read!
‘My mum always said, a fistful of rings is as good as a knuckleduster’
As the Great Smog falls over London in 1952, Florrie Palmer has a choice to make.
Will she stay with the Cutters, a gang of female criminals who have terrorised London for years and are led by her own mother? Or leave it all behind to make a safer, duller life with the man she loves? And what will she do if she’s too crooked to go straight, and too good to go bad?
Over the next five days, Florrie will have to find her own path and the courage to stumble along it – in a fog so thick that she can’t see her own feet.
Following the last days of a crumbling female gang in post-war London, this is a story of family, of love, of finding your way, and of deciphering a route through the greyest areas of morality.
You can order your copy of ‘Five Days of Fog’ on Amazon at:
We start this book on the first day the fog descends on London which is the 4th December 1952 and the author paints a sublime atmospheric London in winter time with dead leaves littering the streets, smokey chimneys, car exhaust fumes and fog which clings to everything and is impenetrable and unmoving. The way the author describes the fog is almost as if it is it’s own entity, taking shape with a life and agenda of it’s own.
Florrie Palmer has respect from those in the neighbourhood. Florrie has caught the eye of Ted who is a nice boy who wishes to take Florrie’s hand in marriage and set her on the straight and narrow. He has a lovely shy unassuming way with the brash crass Florrie and gives meaning to the phrase ‘opposites attract’.
I really liked Ted’s character, he seems like such a genuinely nice person that only has good intentions for Florrie and I found myself really rooting for them and hoping that they would be able to break free from the unlawful life-style their families lead.
Florrie’s mum is the infamous Ruby who has spent the last two years in Holloway prison. Before Ruby even returns I could tell she was bad news and upon her return she was going to ruffle some feathers and create some drama. All the characters seem to think that Ruby upon her return is going to sort all their problems so you can tell she is the matriarch of the family and rightly or wrongly is respected and feared.
This book is very much about family dynamics within a rather unusual family. It has a really good ending, and without saying too much all I mean is that it is one of those books that finishes and feels properly finished as it’s wrapped nicely.
The author to a degree has based this book on the Great Smog that descended London in 1952 for four and a half days. This must have been such an oppressive depressing time and the author beautifully brings this across in her descriptive writing.
The author also read a lot of anecdotal accounts, journalism pieces and various other books on the Great Smog together with books on known gangs that operated during this time. These well researched ideas have all come together to produce in my opinion a thoroughly entertaining read.
About the Author
Anna Freeman is a lecturer in Creative Writing at Bath Spa University as well as a multiple slam-winning performance poet who has appeared at festivals across Britain including Latitude and Glastonbury. She lives in Bristol. Her first novel, THE FAIR FIGHT, was shortlisted for the Authors’ Club Best First Novel award.
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