In August 1912, three friends set out on an adventure. Two of them come home.
Tom, Jimmy and Itzhak have grown up together in the crowded slums of Walworth. They are used to narrow streets, the bustle of East Lane market, extended families weaving in and out of each other’s lives. All three boys are expected to follow their father’s trades and stay close to home. But Tom has wider dreams. So when he hears of a scouting trip, sailing from Waterloo to Sheppey and the mouth of the Thames – he is determined to go. And Itzhak and Jimmy go with him.
Inspired by real events, this is the story of three friends, and a tragedy that will change them for ever. It is also a song of south London, of working class families with hidden histories, of a bright and complex world long neglected. London Lies Beneath is a powerful and compelling novel, rich with life and full of wisdom.
As gloriously alive as the turn of the century south London streets it portrays (Red magazine)
Vivid … [and] full of heart, Duffy’s new novel is a fitting hymn to the city that inspired it (Financial Times)
A paean not just to South London, but to a vanished way of working-class life . . . Duffy’s narrative is as fluid as a costermonger’s patter, carrying the reader along (Daily Mail)
Hauntingly beautiful (Sunday Mirror)