Book & Author Details:
Swan Song by Charlotte Wilson
Publication date: September 12th 2017
Genres: Young Adult
When iconic ballerina Beatrice Duvall died, a nation mourned – and a legacy was born. Sixteen years later, her daughter Ava comes to London to take part in a high-profile tribute to Beatrice, and to learn about the mother she never knew.
There’s just one snag: the tribute is a ballet, Swan Lake. Which is infinitely painful for Ava, because she can’t dance. Won’t dance. Not since she quit the Royal Ballet School last year and walked away from everything that defined her.
But this is London, colourful and crazy, and with actor Seb at her side, there’s so much to discover. Like Theatreland razzmatazz and rooftop picnics and flamingo parties. And a whole load of truths Ava never knew about her mother – and herself.
When the time comes to take the stage, will Ava step out of the shadow cast by her mother’s pedestal? And who will be waiting for her there, in the bright lights?
I’ll tell you straightaway, this book is delightful. A really well crafted story of a young girl struggling to find a connection to her dead mother. And even if you haven’t experienced what Ava has, the author’s writing just breathes the loss to life, initially in an intentionally detached manner, but as the story progresses, in a far more emotionally provoking manner.
And so often with stories involving teens, their behaviour isn’t age appropriate, as they often seem more mature than their years dictate. I didn’t find that to be an issue here.
I confess that, as I was reading on the train, more than once I had to stop and stare out of the window whilst I composed myself, as the reactions were teased out of me.
I voluntarily reviewed an advanced reader copy of this book.
Once upon a time a little girl told her grandmother that when she grew up she wanted to be a writer. Or a lollipop lady. Or a fairy princess. ‘Write, Charlotte,’ her grandmother advised. So that’s what she did.
Thirty-odd years later, Charlotte writes the kind of books she loves to read: romances. She lives in a village of Greater Manchester with her husband and two children, and when she’s not reading or writing, you’ll find her walking someplace green, baking up a storm or embarking on a DIY project. She recently achieved a lifetime ambition of creating a home library for her ever-increasing collection of books. She pretends not to notice that the shelves are rather wonky.