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I don’t know what it is, but historical fiction involving tough ladies beating the crap out of people really appeals to me. (I don’t know what that says about me.) I first discovered this when reading Anna Freeman’s novel, The Fair Fight, last year. It is, quite simply, one of my favorite books of all time. So you can understand my excitement when I heard Freeman’s second novel, Five Days of Fog, would carry on the same vein.
But first I had to find a copy.
It was released in the US and the UK in late November but not in Canada. The publisher and publicist wouldn’t respond to my many attempts to confirm a Canadian release date. I ended up having to get a copy off eBay. To this I say, harrumph.
Five Days of Fog is about a 1950s girl gang family, loosely based on the gang known as the Forty Elephants. In December 1952, smog buried London in a layer of ashy dust, sending thousands of people to the hospital with lung problems and killing many.
The story takes place during these five days, head-hopping between the four main characters as they deal with the release of the gang’s leader from prison and the recent romantic union of the leader’s teenage daughter with a guy who doesn’t want to follow in the family’s crime-ridden lifestyle.
The descriptions of the dust and the grime of London were lively and visual, creating a grey and colourless atmosphere throughout the novel. Freeman’s talent for dialogue continues in this book and I learned a heap of 1950s English slang I wasn’t familiar with!
Carrying themes of family and forbidden romance, this book was a fun read. Without going into too much detail, the head-hopping was a little confusing at first. It wasn’t quite as “YEAH, THIS IS AWESOME” as The Fair Fight but it was still pretty darn good.