Long and the Short

Long and the Short

Saddler, Allen

Saddler, Allen

The Long and the Short is the second in Allen Saddler’s Forties trilogy and the sequel to his acclaimed Bless Em All. Four years on from Blitz London, as news of the Normandy landings filters through the country, Allen Saddler presents new characters struggling in wartime England alongside memorable figures from the first book. Where Saddler had lives criss-crossing each other in London’s streets before, this time they span north and south and with his customary narrative drive and sparkling dialogue, he describes the subtle differences, as well as similarities, between friends and enemies who are meant to be fighting a common enemy abroad. Jimmy, the delivery boy from Bless Em All has become a nervy young soldier and is reunited with the enigmatic Rosa Tcherny, the Jewish nurse who finds herself tending German POWs; Harry ‘Boy’ Fortune is an officer/spiv hot on the trail of two tarts, revealing his softer side along the way; Major Le Surf is his boss, carving out a sweet life for himself in a northern backwater, only to be thrust into the riddle of a murdered German POW. All of these dramas and more converge as the country moves towards V.E. Day and a final release from endless sacrifice and strain.
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Bless ’Em All

Bless ’Em All

Saddler, Allen

Saddler, Allen

In the early years of the Second World War, respectable Maurice and raffish Bernard are two squabbling brothers who – with the help of sixteen-year-old Jimmy and Miss Tcherny, a pretty invoice clerk – run a wholesale bookselling business near St Paul’s. Over the river, in a large house in south London, the residents are doing their best to get on with their lives as the Luftwaffe brings the war to the capital. Bert and Edie Penrose live in the basement; above them, lonely widow Mrs Bennet remembers the last war, her dead husband and her son in Australia. Meanwhile, Bunty, on the middle floor, married to a jealous man with a short fuse, turns tricks in the West End after he cycles off to work. A stunning blonde, she is totally deaf and dumb. Then there’s her neighbour Betty, a faithful but naive young wife at the top of the house. When Maurice, Bernard, Bunty and Betty get together at the dubious Hostess Club in Soho, a sequence of events follows that no one could predict . . .
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