Our bookclub choice for September is Ridley Road by Jo Bloom, a beautifully written love story set in 1960s London amid the revival of fascism.
SUMMER, 1962. Twenty-year-old Vivien Epstein, a Jewish hairdresser from Manchester, arrives in London following the death of her father. She has travelled to the city to make a new start, and quickly finds herself swept up in a city buzzing with life. Landing a job at Oscar's salon, she thrives amid the vibrant cafe? culture of Soho and the warm camaraderie of the other hairdressers.
But beneath the surface, Vivien is desperate to find Jack Fox, a man she had a brief but intense romance with some months before. Her search leads to confront the dark resurgence of fascism, countered by the Jewish community in street battles around Ridley Road in the East End of London.
Amid the growing tensions, can her love survive?
'A tale of love and morality set in the dark side of the Swinging Sixties' The Lady 'Convincingly evocative of an exciting era' Daily Mail
Author Jo Bloom has worked as a freelancer in the communications field for the past fifteen years with a focus on arts publicity and e-learning. She also contributed to the book review section of Time Out, London for a few years. Prior to this she lived and worked in Prague and New York.
She was inspired to write Ridley Road when she met a Jewish anti-fascist who'd lived in the East End all his life and participated in numerous street battles with the fascists alongside both the 43 Group and the 62 Group.
She lives in Brighton with her husband and young son.
All our free copies of Ridley Road have gone - but you can purchase your copy online or from all good booksellers.
Add your questions/comments to the author on the Q&A thread here.