Wednesday 28 February 2024

πŸ“– Blog Tour ~ The Sleeping Beauties by Lucy Ashe


Magpie Books/One World
15 February 2024

My thanks to the publisher and to Random Things Tours for my copy of the book
and the invitation to the blog tour

An unputdownable tale of obsession, jealousy and heartache against the backdrop of WW2

May 1945 and at long last, Rosamund Caradon is feeling optimistic. As she returns the last few evacuees to London from her Devonshire manor, she vows to protect dance-obsessed daughter Jasmine from further peril.

But a chance meeting with a Sadler’s Wells ballet dancer changes everything.

When the beautiful, elusive Briar Woods bursts into Rosamund’s train carriage, it’s clear her sights are set on the immediately captivated Jasmine. And Rosamund cannot shake the eerie feeling this accidental encounter is not what it seems.

For Briar may be far away from the pointe shoes and greasepaint of the Sleeping Beauty ballet that is so much a part of her, but her performance for Rosamund might just be her most successful yet.

This, Briar feels, is a show for a mother and daughter. A dance that could turn deadly...

πŸ“– My Review...

At the end of the Second World War Rosamund Caradon returns the last of her evacuees to their homes in London. On the train to London she meets the enigmatic, and rather lovely, Briar Woods who soon makes a deep impression on Rosamund's nine year old daughter, Jasmine. Jasmine's interest in ballet is further enhanced when she discovers that Briar is a Sadler's Wells ballerina. What then follows is a  complex story which looks at the bonds of motherhood and the deep abiding fear of having this mother/daughter bond severed irretrievably.

The story moves quite seamlessly between two distinct time frames, that of Rosamund and Jasmine in 1945, and Briar's life in 1936. Briar's connection to the ballet is done with beautiful precision so that it is perfectly possible to sense the atmosphere of dancing with such a prestigious company. I especially enjoyed the references to costume and all the planning that went into each production. Rosamund and Jasmine's story in 1945 is equally compelling and as the story gets deeper so the twists and turns start to evolve and we discover the secrets which have been kept hidden for so long.

Beautifully written, with a real sense of time and place, The Sleeping Beauties is a compelling story about jealousy, dangerous obsession and the complicated bonds of motherhood.

About the Author

After training at the Royal Ballet School for eight years, Lucy Ashe decided to change career plans and go to university, where she read English Literature before becoming a teacher.

Her poetry and short stories have been published in a number of literary journals and she was shortlisted for the 2020 Impress Prize for New Writers.

Twitter / X @LSAshe1 #TheSleepingBeauties




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