Coventry by Helen Humphreys
A Novel

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Synopsis

On the night of the Luftwaffe's devastating bombing of Coventry, two women traverse the city and transform their hearts.


Helen Humphreys draws on history to delve into the lives torn asunder by the German attack of November 14, 1940. Harriet, a widow from World War I, is atop Coventry Cathedral, part of the nightly watch, when first the factories and then the church itself are set on fire. In the ensuing chaos she bonds with a young man, very much like the husband she lost, who relies on her to find the way back to his home where he left his mother. On their journey through a hell of burning shops and collapsed homes, Harriet awakens to emotions she had long put aside. At home, the youth's mother awaits his arrival and rethinks the life that has brought her to this city and her life raising her son alone. Ultimately, together these two women must face a world as immeasurably changed as their own selves.

 

About Helen Humphreys

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Helen Humphreys is the author of four collections of poetry & one previous novel, "Leaving Earth", which won the Toronto Book Award, was a "New York Times" Notable Book, & was published in six languages. "Afterimage" was inspired by an exhibition of Julia Margaret Cameron's photographs. Humphreys lives in Kingston, Ontario.
 
Published January 31, 2009 by W. W. Norton & Company. 193 pages
Genres: History, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Coventry

Kirkus Reviews

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The underappreciated Humphreys (Wild Dogs, 2005, etc.) offers a journey through the dark night of the soul that was the November 14, 1940, bombing of Coventry.

May 20 2010 | Read Full Review of Coventry: A Novel

The New York Times

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Instant intimacy and lasting friendship are forged in the flames of a German bombardment in this British novel.

Mar 15 2009 | Read Full Review of Coventry: A Novel

Reader Rating for Coventry
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