“A House for Alice shares some characters and plot lines from an earlier book by Diana Evans, called Ordinary People. The great political event at its heart is the Grenfell Tower tragedy. That disaster more or less bookends the plot, but it’s not otherwise driven by public events.
This is a book about the search for home, about the meaning of belonging, what can allow you to belong in a community and what can hinder that process of homecoming. As with her previous books, it’s about black Londoners, mostly. It’s about people very much embedded in their city and their community watching it change. Sometimes they feel entirely grounded. Sometimes, as political events shift and things like the hostile environment policy come in, they feel more alienated and pressurized. It’s about the relationship between family, community, and social life. It’s another book that has the wonderful finesse and sensitivity of small-scale observation allied to a very firm grasp of the big social and political picture.”
Best Political Novels of 2023, recommended by Boyd Tonkin