Book review: Mr. Chartwell by Rebecca Hunt

Mr. ChartwellMr. Chartwell by Rebecca Hunt

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

From BBC Radio 4 – Book at Bedtime:
Set across five days in July 1964 we follow the bizarrely intertwined lives of Sir Winston Churchill, Esther Hammerhans and the unwelcome visitor they both share.

Episode 1/10
July 1964: The lives of Winston Churchill and Esther, a library clerk, become intertwined.

Episode 2/10:
July 1964, and the day looms when Winston Churchill must leave Parliament. Meanwhile Esther, a library clerk, has her own black date in the diary. She also has an unusual visitor.

Episode 3/10:
Wednesday 22nd July has been a long day for Esther, and it is still not over – Mr Chartwell has promised to tell her more about himself and just what the nature of his work is.

Episode 4/10:
Having agreed that Black Pat aka Mr Chartwell can stay over for a night, Esther is not sure what to expect in the morning.

Episode 5/10:
The weekend is approaching, together with the imminent anniversary of Esther’s husband’s death. But an unexpected task is set for Esther by her boss at the Westminster Library.

Episode 6/10:
Black Pat continues to lay siege to Esther and Beth issues an invitation to a lunch party.

Episode 7/10
Saturday 25th July 1964: Esther and Corkbowl are both preparing for the trip to Chartwell. But Esther is dreading Sunday for other reasons.

Episode 8/10:
Clementine Churchill takes a stand. Beth and Big Oliver host Sunday lunch.

Episode 9/10:
Sunday afternoon : Churchill’s study is the scene of a delicate conversation.

Episode 10/10:
Sunday evening, Esther returns home to find Black Pat waiting for her.

The reader is Miriam Margolyes.

Abridged and produced by Jill Waters
A Waters Company Production for BBC Radio 4.

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