Friday 13 July 2018

Review: When the Curtain Falls by Carrie Hope Fletcher

Theatres have a certain kind of magic. When the curtain rises, we are all enraptured by the glare of the lights and the smell of the greasepaint but it's when the curtain falls that the real drama begins . . . 

In 1952 two young lovers meet, in secret, at the beautiful Southern Cross theatre in the very heart of London's West End. Their relationship is made up of clandestine meetings and stolen moments because there is someone who will make them suffer if he discovers she is no longer 'his'. But life in the theatre doesn't always go according to plan and tragedy and heartache are waiting in the wings for all the players . . .

Almost seventy years later, a new production of When the Curtain Falls arrives at the theatre, bringing with it Oscar Bright and Olive Green and their budding romance. Very soon, though, strange things begin to happen and they learn about the ghost that's haunted the theatre since 1952, a ghost who can only be seen on one night of the year. Except the ghost is appearing more often and seems hell bent on sabotaging Oscar and Olive. The young couple realise they need to right that wrong from years gone by, but can they save themselves before history repeats itself and tragedy strikes once more?
Moulin Rouge meets Phantom of the Opera in this story of unrequited love and revenge. 

Review: I really enjoyed the read and it had this author's usual fairytale like feeling most of the way through. You know going into Carrie's books that you need to suspend your disbelief going in, roll with the magic and just get swept up in the stories. This book has two different storylines, one form 2018 and one from 1952 with the earlier having an effect on the latter. I liked the shift in time and really felt captivated in the whole magic of the theatre in the 1952 events. I also learned a lot about what goes into a theatre production and what goes on backstage in a west end show. 

We have two different sets of leading men and ladies. In 1952 we have Fawn and Walter and in 2018 we have Olive and Oscar. I did find the fact that Olive and Oscar have similar names a little confusing at times but I managed to kept them straight most of the time. I loved Fawn and thought she was a really strong characters. I really liked Walter in the beginning whereas I found Oscar a little hard to warm to so I was glad of the parallel storylines. Some of the supporting characters float in and out of both sections so they are sometimes tricky to keep track of, I would have liked to have heard a little more from some of them, especially in the present day parts, but I appreciated what they did add to the plot.

The setting for both parts of the novel is a West End theatre and we don't see very much outside of the theatre, but when we do its wonderful to have real places and landmarks I could recognise in London. I always appreciate when an author uses real places because it is much easier for me to situate the characters and events in my head. Obviously a theatre is a fabulous setting for this novel, it is magical and it lends itself well to the magical aspect of the storyline. We know there are of course ghosts featured in this novel and I found that they slotted right in because of the setting and because of the build up in the 1952 thread of the book. There are also some disturbing scenes whilst almost spill over into the thriller genre because of their violent and almost mystery-like nature. The penultimate chapter of the book gets exceedingly dark, think Romeo and Juliet, Phantom of the Opera-I loved this bit!

I loved the romance of this novel, it was definitely a page tuner and so therefore a quick read for me because I dedicated a whole day to reading it and let the suspense build. You definitely have to like a little bit of magic and some ghosts in your books in order to enjoy all of this but I definitely enjoyed it and it is my second favourite of Carrie's novels. 

To order your copy now, just click the link: UK or US (US hardback published 4th September)

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