War Crimes for the Home

`You know what they say about GIs and English girls’ knickers,’ ran the wartime joke, `One Yank and they’re off.’ When Gloria met Ron, he was an American pilot who thought nothing of getting hit by shrapnel in the cockpit. She was working in a munitions factory in Bristol during the Blitz, but still found time to grab what she wanted. Ciggies. Sex. American soldiers. But war has an effect on people. Gloria did all sorts of things she wouldn’t normally do – evil things, some of them – because she might be dead tomorrow. Or someone might. Now, fifty years on, it’s payback time. In her old folks’ home, Gloria is forced to remember the real truth about her and Ron, and confront the secret at the heart of her dramatic home front story. In a gripping, vibrant evocation of wartime Britain, Liz Jensen explores the dark impulses of women whose war crimes are committed on the home front, in the name of sex, survival, greed, and love.

‘Liz Jensen is a true original, beholden to nobody’ Deborah Moggach

‘Jensen is becoming one of our best writers, sometimes surreal, sometimes down to earth, always with a great and embracing human sympathy’ Fay Weldon, Mail on Sunday

‘Breathtakingly coarse, wryly amusing and gut-wrenchingly tragic’ Marie Claire

‘Magnificent … a clever, complex novel, skilfully managed … impressively capricious and imaginative’ The Guardian

‘I adore all jensen’s work but this is my favourite, one of those books you can smell. Not only is the lead character a fabulously grubby old woman, glorious – but it’s a thumping great story with a twist.’ Jenny Eclair, Daily Express

‘Funny, gripping and exceptionally moving right from the very first page’  Lesley Glaister

‘Jensen’s very, very dark comedy drama shatters both the rose-tinted view of the home front during the Blitz of the Second World War and our view of old age in  general….Brutally tragic, savagely funny and as lovely as the premise promises.’ The Scotsman

‘You need  considerable talent to take a standard ‘old lady rediscovers horrible secret about herself’ and make it seem newly-minted. Happily, Liz Jensen has abundant skill and a jet-black sense of humour to give this quirky, compelling novel its edgy intelligence. But it isn’t simply a story about memory’s labyrinthine structure and the way we anaesthetise ourselves against out most unpalatable past actions; it’s also a brilliant portrait of England then and now, chronicled with skewed humour and compassion by a most gifted and original writer.’ Douglas Kennedy, Mail on Sunday