Read Lucky Bunny by Jill Dawson Online


'Crime's a man's business. So they say. Who was that small figure then, slender enough to trot along the moonlit track, swift and low, virtually invisible? Who was it that covered the green signal with a glove to stop the train, while the two others took care of the driver and his mate? Could it have been one Queenie Dove, survivor of the Depression and the Blitz, not to m'Crime's a man's business. So they say. Who was that small figure then, slender enough to trot along the moonlit track, swift and low, virtually invisible? Who was it that covered the green signal with a glove to stop the train, while the two others took care of the driver and his mate? Could it have been one Queenie Dove, survivor of the Depression and the Blitz, not to mention any number of scrapes with the law?'Queenie Dove is a self-proclaimed genius when it comes to thieving and escape. Daring, clever and sexy, she ducked and dived through the streets of London from the East End through Soho to Mayfair, graduating from childhood shop-lifting to more glamorous crimes in the post-war decades. So was she wicked through and through, or more sinned against than sinning? Here she tells a vivacious tale of trickery and adventure, but one with more pain and heartbreak than its heroine cares to admit. Yes, luck often favoured her, but that is only part of the story....

Title : Lucky Bunny
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780340935675
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 304 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Lucky Bunny Reviews

  • TinaB
    2019-06-12 02:22

    Outside of cover love, Im splitting hairs trying to muster up a review on a book I had a really hard time getting through. The concept, story-line and setting were great and I was looking forward to a nail cruncher considering that the novel had to do with petty criminals, man-beaters, generational crime women...I mean that just sounds awesome. Unfortunately awesome flew out the window when at 115 pages later the book still wasn't moving. I found the pacing monstrously long and the story never ending, towards the end even when things picked up overall, I found the reading tedious. I tried to get on board with Queenie, as the entire novel is told through her perspective, from her troublesome childhood, her horrible taste in men, all the things trying to connect me to her world, overall just distanced me from the novel as a whole. I admired Queenie's honestly and her rich detail to the historical setting around her, but her integrity and moral character were extremely lacking, and for that reason whether it was the characters themselves or the style of writing, Lucky Bunny for me did not work. That said, I believe there is an audience out there for Lucky Bunny, lovers of historical fiction, women's fiction, especially those that feature a difficult character study will appreciate Dawson's vibrant, yet sad portrayal of a woman who wants us to believe in her, even though her life is one less to be desired.

  • Victoria
    2019-06-06 08:00

    I loved "Lucky Bunny". A light read-I don't mean superficial but it is a pleasure to read this book-and I want to read al of Jill Dawson's books now. Made me miss my subway stop and I ended up at 96th Street. About a poor kid who grows up in London during the Blitz. Don't want to give anything away. I want to read her book "The Great Lover" about the poet Rupert Brooke so very well known for:"If I should die, think only this of me: That there’s some corner of a foreign fieldThat is forever England."

  • Audra (Unabridged Chick)
    2019-05-29 06:14

    I loved this book, which is surprising because it has a current of domestic abuse which I really can't take because I'm such a weenie, but, ohemgee, I adored our anti-heroine/narrator, Queenie Dove. Literally, from the first line, I was in love. Dawson's writing style -- casual, sharp, very Queenie -- is in present tense first person, but it so works for this story. Clever Queenie is cocky, arrogant, sure of herself -- and with good reason -- and the writing style has as much personality as Queenie does. It made the story bounce and race and gripped me.This isn't a World War II novel, (the novel goes through 1930s to the 1960s), although Queenie was born in 1933 and experiences some of the most horrifying aspects of WWII London. (In addition to the other generally horrifying parts of her life!) Born into squalor with an inattentive mother (that's being polite) and a criminal father, Queenie learns quickly what she needs to do to survive -- and not just that, but thrive. Caring for her beloved younger brother Bobby (who is 'a few currants short of a teacake', according to their Nan), they're sent to the country with the other London children -- until Queenie decides that isn't in their best interest and wrangles herself and Bobby back into London. They survive the horror of the Bethnal Green Tube disaster (a claustrophobic part of the book that made me race to the front porch for fresh air) only to face more hardship -- which Queenie is determined to overcome. During the Blitz, Queenie learns to be a thief, and she quickly proves herself the master of it. Embraced and cared for by a circle of other female thieves and prostitutes, Queen -- and Dawson - revealed a world unfamiliar to me, the glamor, seediness, and grasping need of post-war London. She finds some measure of sexual satisfaction in Tony, handsome and dangerous, but has to decide what sacrifices to make for herself -- and eventually, her daughter. I suppose Queenie could be unlikable -- she's a criminal, and probably a bit of a liar -- but I was in love with her brash, vivacious, and unapologetic zest for survival. This was the only book that could help me ignore the drama of Hurricane Sandy: once I had Queenie in mind, I couldn't shake her!

  • Christina (A Reader of Fictions)
    2019-06-20 06:20

    I went into this novel with such high hopes. Audra of Unabridged Chick loved it, and I typically find that I agree with her on books. Unfortunately, my experience of this one was quite different, partly, I think, because of my prior reading history and because of the way the book was billed. For me, this book was slow and torturous, the characters utterly loathsome.Your enjoyment of this book will likely hinge on how you feel about Queenie Dove. If you find her clever, cool and alluring, then everything will be copacetic. If, like me, you find her obnoxious and really don't care what happens to her, the book will drag on seemingly endlessly. In part, my distaste stemmed from her name, as I read another book with a Queenie at the lead earlier this year: Code Name Verity. That Queenie has so much personality, strength, intelligence and charisma that this one paled in comparison.My other problem with regards to expectation was that I thought this was a novel about World War II. It's mentioned in the blurb and on the back of the book it's described as "a world war II-era narrative," which may technically be true, but is quite misleading. World War II doesn't matter too much in Queenie's life, though she lives through it. She was evacuated briefly toe the country and survived one tragic bombing, but that's pretty much the extent of it.Of course, had I read the synopsis more closely, I would have noted what the book is actually about: hoisting, theft, in so much as it is about anything. You see, this book doesn't have a plot. AT ALL. I have liked plotless books in the past, because if the writing and ideas and characters are marvelous than I don't need a plot to pull me through to the end of the book. Without it in this instance, it was a struggle to get to the last page. I had similar difficulties with David Copperfield, another fictional biography. Perhaps that subset of fiction is not for me.I will say that the book improved when Queenie got older. The first 150 pages or so, though, were so entirely boring to me. A large portion of the book is devoted to Queenie's tragic childhood, I guess to promote sympathy in me and make me care about her. Well, that didn't work. Yes, her life sucked (gambler dad, insane mother, etc.), but I still found Queenie off-putting.Precisely why I disliked Queenie so much, aside from expecting her to be like that other literary Queenie, is a bit hard to place my finger on. I suspect that lies in her narrative style. The book is written in a style that simply didn't work for me, filled with odd slang and long sentences. I read a little selection of it to my parents, who found it pompous and said it sounded like she was 'trying too hard.' The cadence of the sentences just didn't come off particularly naturally. With a really good narrator, though, I imagine this could be a marvelous audiobook.As much as there was one, the main conflict of the book regarded domestic abuse. Like her mother before her, Queenie settles down with a man who beats her. He first hits her in public and not just once, yet she stays. In the narrative, she considers how much other people blame the abused woman for allowing the abuse, for staying; she calls this victim blaming. She has a point, of course, but I still feel wholeheartedly that she should have kicked him to the curb the first time he slapped her.Undoubtedly this book will work for others and I urge you to check out other reviews for another viewpoint. The whole book just rubbed me the wrong way.

  • Caitlin
    2019-06-10 01:03

    I have mixed feelings about Lucky Bunny. The concept is great and the book cover is beautiful (yes, I like good book cover), but I can't say that I enjoyed this as a read. Maybe I'm shallow, but the pacing of this was just too slow for my current need. You know how that is, right? Sometimes only a fast-paced novel will do.Lucky Bunny tells the story of Queenie Dove, a woman who turns to crime for her survival in post-WWII London. I wish I'd liked Queenie more, although from a writing perspective she does embody the concept of the unreliable narrator. While trying earnestly to turn her life into one of glamour and derring-do, one can't be sure of the truth of anything she says and I left the book wondering what really happened and how Queenie (not her real name, by the way) really felt about anything. I couldn't sort out for myself whether or not to like her because I was never sure who I might like or dislike in her and this became a problem for me as a reader.Lucky Bunny straddles the lines between historical fiction, women's fiction, and crime fiction, but doesn't settle comfortably anywhere. This disconnectedness added to the disconnectedness I felt from its main character left me feeling disconnected from the entire book. A decent read, but not a great one.

  • Melissa
    2019-06-27 01:09

    ****Recieved from Goodreads giveaways****I want to first say that I think that there are a lot of people out there that are going to really enjoy this book. I unfortunatly wasn't one of them. I didn't really care for the way it was written. It was written more in a memoir style and I think if it had been in the style of 1st or 3rd person as it was happening I would have really enjoyed the book. Because of this I just didn't really connect with the characters and it leaves the book lacking in any type of plot to get involved with so it was a really slow read that just kinda plodded along and went nowhere. It did pick up a bit once Queenie grew up but not enough to really salvage the book for me. But, I do think there is an audience out there for this book and probably a lot of that audience will enjoy this book a lot more than I did.

  • Annette
    2019-06-18 05:06

    Slow and tedious with no storyline at all just a series of I don't know what telling Queenie's story. Reading it was a bit like boiling an egg without a timer - are we done yet? Is it over? - and ending up with hard-boiled. Boring and not as good as The Great Lover which is the only one of her novels I've enjoyed.

  • sisterimapoet
    2019-06-07 05:02

    Hmmm - I'm disappointed to say that yet again Dawson's most recent novel doesn't live up to the standards which I enjoyed in her earlier books. This felt like it had potential, but never really lifted from the same level throughout. The end part was the most engaging. I wonder if the novel could have benefited from a different structure, a different ordering of events perhaps?

  • Erica
    2019-06-02 01:59

    We're publishing this book in fall (with a different/better cover), and I loved it. It reminded me of Kate Atkinson's early, non-crime books. It's the story of a girl growing up rough in London in the 40s and 50s who ends up in a life of crime, and it's awesome.

  • Betty Dickie
    2019-06-27 07:08

    I really hated this book and finished it only because I am reviewing it. My reaction is purely emotional because the book is well written, clever, and chronicles a side of British post war life rarely viewed by Americans. But the people are really sorry, the morals twisted and the story endless.

  • Alice Harvey
    2019-06-17 03:01

    A very depressing and slow at times, yet somehow still a fascinating read... Had a hard time deciding on a rating for this one, but settled on two stars looking at the stack of books on the bedside table that I think I would have rather been reading.

  • Kathryn Webb
    2019-06-06 08:16

    An enjoyable read for anyone who enjoys a London 50's and 60's setting. It took me a while to get into it but soon I was hooked and every free time I had I tried to read, even if it was only a page or two

  • Alexis Villery
    2019-06-20 09:11

    Lucky Bunny is a such a difficult book to review because it is quite different. It doesn't seem right to summarize the plot when this book isn't about the plot. It is more of an experience. In Lucky Bunny we experience Queenie, a feisty girl who knows nothing but a life of crime. Her loved ones have been taken away from her one by one. Some return and others remain ghosts that haunt and shape her choices as she grows older. Queenie makes friends and falls in love but live isn't easy for her. The setting is more than a backdrop, it is part of the experience. Set during and after World War II, Ms. Dawson takes real life events and adds them to the story creating an intriguing look into a world often overlooked.The premise, setting, and writing in Lucky Bunny was great. The writing especially made this a very authentic read. The world and the characters felt so real. I love when I get a book where the writing makes me stop and take notice. I was inspired. Unfortunately though, I had a very hard time getting through this book. The pacing was just off for me. As I was reading, I could never quite understand the point of where everything was going. It's kind of hard to describe but I'll try. The story is told from Queenie's perspective. All of the events have already occurred and she's looking back and retelling it as she remembers. But before each new event, she foreshadows how things will turn out by pretty much saying how it will turn out. It wasn't annoying or bothersome but it took away the drive to keep reading. There was nothing pushing me forward. I pretty much knew how everything would turn out. If I put the book down, I pretty much had to force myself to pick it up and keep reading. Once I got back into things, it was okay.Overall, I think the writing might be good enough to at least give this one a try despite the pacing issue I described. I can see many people loving it. Just a heads up, Queenie's in an abusive relationship so there is quite a bit of domestic violence in this one.

  • Lesley
    2019-06-06 03:03

    I thoroughly enjoyed reading Lucky Bunny. The main character, Queenie, tells the story in an autobiographical style and I found her totally believable. I love the way the reader is allowed to make their own mind up about Queenie’s morals and motives, within the boundaries of her self-confessed tendency to be an unreliable commentator and to have embellished and skewed her own story. The only aspect of Queenie that did not come over strongly enough was her intelligence. A seemingly photographic memory is not proof of that, and I wanted to see her masterminding something, rather than being a bit part in a real-life event. The central question of nature versus nurture was well-balanced and I was glad that Queenie had the strength of character to escape the vicious circle. What Queenie describes as her ‘luck’, is actually a determination to lift herself out of the life she was born to and her life’s path is strewn with well-researched period detail. The social history of London and the women’s history are particularly vivid. I could have done without quite so many of London’s famous and infamous dotted throughout the book, but I decided that a good many of Queenie’s encounters could be put down to her own invention. Having family who grew up in that area of London myself I know only too well that every second person you meet apparently knew the Krays!I have read all of Jill Dawson’s books and find her writing very well-crafted. I think this is one of her best books and would recommend it.

  • Lissa Pelzer
    2019-06-15 04:17

    It's described as a modern day Moll Flanders and there are some similarities but this book is one of a kind. The writing is wonderful, enviably so and the story rich. You'll love and hate these characters in equal measure. Starting off in her childhood in wartime East London and following through to the violent crime eras of 60s Britain, this story follows a thread not often taken, that of wartime children and what happened to them next. The main protagonist, Queenie, not her real name, is a bit of a missing link, she doesn't seem to fit her name or her location, but I think this is something of a coup for Dawson. Most readers wouldn't identify with an East End 'gal', and this way, by making her smart and insightful, referencing sociology but still deeply flawed, you have something to grab on to. Someone described her to me as 'unbelievable', but I have to say I disagree. She's a trainwreck, yes but I know plenty of people who fit that description.

  • Lynne
    2019-06-17 03:05

    I didn't know what to expect with this book - a reading group choice. It tells a rather sad story of a very bright girl born into a difficult, violent and very poor family just before the second world war. She has courage, humour and verve which she uses largely outside the law. Sometimes she is successful but she also serves time in approved school and prison. A number of women in her life give her support and encouragement but the men around her are violent, and once she has a daughter of her own she is determined to keep her safe. A final major criminal act gives her enough money to secure their future in Ely, Lincolnshire where she was evacuated at the beginning of the war. There is a strong sense of place and time in the book but it did end well in the past without bringing the story up to date. I hadn't read any of Jill Dawson's books and this one didn't really make me want to read more.

  • Ian Mapp
    2019-06-27 05:10

    Excellent - a new favourite author. This is a rather special thriller. Moves at a lightening pace, taking us all the way from Queenie Dove's birth in 1930's East End London, through the war and her ever increasing involvement in crime.The characterisation is simply superb, I loved Queenie and her extended family and friends. The places and real world events add an air of authenticity to the story.But it really Queenie that makes the book stands out. She has such a lust for life, sense of family and adventure that she leaps from the page. The story is breathless and moves through the ages with barely a pause.The only thing that stopped a five star was that I felt the ending and Queenie's involvement with a real life crime a touch unnecessary and sensational for some reason.This will not be the last Jill Dawson that I read. A triumph.

  • Tawny
    2019-06-11 05:23

    I won Lucky Bunny from a Goodreads giveaway. (My first win!) And, I am very happy to say that I loved every second of it! This is the kind of book that captures you early on, and doesn't let go. I loved watching Queenie grow and learn the tricks of her trade. She is very much an anti-hero, but I've always loved a good, complex character. It's still very easy to sympathize with her when you see what life throws her way. But, despite all of the bad things, she never loses her charm or optimism. I also liked how she didn't whine or blame others for her misfortune (as she very easily could have done). She did her best to put things behind her and move on with her life. All she wanted was to do right by herself, and later on, her daughter. I would definitely recommend this book, it is fantastic!

  • Wwmrsweasleydo
    2019-06-20 02:23

    This is a very readable book with a strong narrative voice. It's written in first person present historic, which was occasionally annoying and I was aware of the present tense for events of the past more than I would have liked to be, but overall it works. The book is set among the 'criminal classes' of London in the mid twentieth century -- a lively, colourful setting which is well described and animated. There are references to real characters and events, mixed in with the convincing original characters. This lead to occasional breaks in reading when I looked up things which I half-remembered and was annoyed with myself for having forgotten.I'm impressed by Dawson's versatility. The book I previously read by her, The Great Lover, was very different.

  • Becky
    2019-05-31 01:54

    This is a very enjoyable book, which features historical characters and events unfolding and interacting with the fictional Queenie Dove. Queenie is a highly convincing character who narrates her often difficult experiences in her own style. Her motives are not given as an excuse for her activities and on the whole her lifestyle is presented in a realistic manner. The story manages to entwine actual events beautifully with fictional elements. I have to say that, having struggled with Dawson's The Great Lover, I was not expecting much from this book however I found it to be a charming and entertaining read. I did have some issues with a couple of the plot developments but on the whole I would happily recommend this book.

  • Rachel
    2019-06-13 07:04

    Queenie was born into a life of crime and carried on the family tradition. Along the way she meets some of the famous faces of London's post-war criminal milieu; Ruth Ellis and Cynthia Paine. I assume that some of the other main characters are nods to other real-life characters.I loved hearing Queenie tell her story, she is a bright, sparky character who refuses to bend to the possibility of giving into what is expected of her by virtue of her birth and education. Via her story we see a range of women's stories via her mother, her grandmother, her father's girlfriends, the 'brasses', and her friends. A great easy read, I rooted for Queenie to escape her circumstances. But will leave you to read it and find out if she did....

  • Susan
    2019-06-16 02:17

    Excellent! Well-written tale of a spunky and clever young East End girl growing up in the Depression and WWII who became a spunky and clever criminal. But it's so much more than that. The voice of the protagonist is amazingly authentic-sounding and her life story is heartbreaking. You don't condone what she does, but you just can't hold it against her. The Cockney sound and rhythm are spot on throughout and fascinating in their own right. I've already put another by Jill Dawson on my library request list.

  • Red Letter
    2019-06-27 04:00

    Our readers said:Kimberly: B "A cinematic read"Kathy: B- "Queenie was wonderfully familiar with a voice that told her story very well."Suze: D "I would greatly prefer to read a biography of Shirley Pitts instead of this fictional (and unacknowledged) account of her life."Cait: B- "I enjoyed nearly all of the characters and the writing was reasonably well done."Julie S.: C "The last third of the book .... was quite interesting and well worth the read."See their full reviews at Red Letter Reads

  • Annette
    2019-06-15 08:23

    Well written, as in nice sentences, but goes nowhere. Even the characterisation is a bit distant. The whole thing meanders like someone in a shopping centre who's smoked too much dope, keeps seeing things they quite like, wants to leave but doesn't know where the exit is. Though it's a short book it read like a very long book and I had to persuade myself to keep going. I did finish it but more out of obligation than actual reading pleasure or interest. Nice cover.

  • Jo
    2019-06-11 06:56

    I loved this and am still uncertain whether to give 4 or 5 stars. It is so interesting and I believe it is quite a genuinely researched historical novel. Definitely the Bethnal Green underground tragedy is real and I'd never even heard of it before .Queenie was completely credible and I could really understand what drove her though such a completely different life experience to my own. I've read a few Jill Dawson now and admire her versatility!! Great read going for 5 stars!

  • Tara
    2019-06-11 08:22

    An evocative novel, set in the wartime East End and the Soho underworld of the 50s. It's an enchanting confection, but you're always aware of the writer at work, and the sheer volume of detail slows the pace. And engaging as Queenie's tale may be, it doesn't really have the dramatic clout of some of the real-life events alluded to here. Nonetheless, it's refreshing to get a woman's perspective on the male-dominated gangland culture.

  • Lucy Blunden
    2019-06-26 08:58

    Thoroughly enjoyable read. I loved Queenie and her antics. I was much reminded of my imagined and real Grandmother and her antics as a young woman through the war and, although I think she was not as much of a crook, had a similar sense of fun. She and her best friend were like Stella and Queenie!Really evocative of the East End during the 30s and 40s. I would have liked to know more about how things turned out for the daughter.

  • Sylvie
    2019-05-31 01:06

    I’m sure there are many people who could just pick this book apart, but it really appealed to me. I loved Queenie’s voice from the opening pages and was eager to see where it would go. I felt it conveyed the flavor of the East End (which, granted, I know nothing about) and I could imagine myself there quite easily. It could have used more “caper” elements, but I loved how the links to actual events had me running to Wikipedia afterwards.

  • Andrea
    2019-06-08 05:56

    Is this "women's fiction" or "crime"? I'm classifying it as both, because it's about a young woman who was born in the East End of London and makes her own way in the (under)world, even though it's meant to be a man's world.I picked this up randomly at the library, so I didn't know what to expect at all.It was fairly enjoyable, but not something I'd be pressing into people's hands, imploring them to read it. A good summer read, in other words.

  • Rebecca
    2019-05-30 07:04

    I've given this book 4 stars because it is a good book, however it's not the type of book I generally read. The story is about 'Queenie' and starts with her childhood during war torn East London and what happens to her along the way. How her relationship with family members and the influences she sees as she grows older, shape the person she becomes. It's easy to think at times that you're reading a memoir. Good book that would make a great holiday read, but it is put downable!