Wednesday 23 December 2015

The Glittering Art of Falling Apart - Ilana Fox

1980s Soho is electric. For Eliza, the heady pull of its nightclubs and free-spirited people leads her into the life she has craved - all glamour, late nights and excitement. But it comes at a heavy cost.

Cassie is fascinated by her family's history and the abandoned Beaufont Hall. Why won't her mother talk about it? Offered the chance to restore Beaufont to its former glory, Cassie jumps at the opportunity to learn more about her past.

Separated by a generation, but linked by a forgotten diary, these two women have more in common than they know . . .

What did I think?

This was an amazing book and I absolutely loved the dual storyline of Cassie in the present day and Eliza in the past.  The way that Eliza’s story unfolds through her diaries that Cassie found made this such a poignant and believable story.  Although the story is about Cassie discovering Eliza’s diaries, it is Eliza’s story that takes precedence and Cassie is the medium through which we must discover it, warts and all.

Eliza left home at 17, drawn to the bright lights of Soho, but finds a reality harsher than she expected.  The author is not afraid to touch on the old seedy side of Soho, covering subjects such as drug addiction, exploitation of models and prostitution.  Many youths of the 80’s will recognise songs that are mentioned in the book, which ensure that the reader is fully immersed in the era.  Reading about Eliza’s decline was sometimes difficult as I had really come to care about her. 

Following a devastating family tragedy, Eliza then discovers her mother’s estranged family who own stately Beaufont Hall in Buckinghamshire.  Her Aunt is quite cold towards her and it takes the unearthing of a shattering family secret to find out why.  Despite this, Eliza manages to build a lovely relationship with her cousin and shakes off her old life in Soho like a butterfly emerging from a chrysalis. 

Some might say that the ending was a little predictable, but it was the absolutely perfect ending to this tragic story and Eliza’s final letter did actually bring tears to my eyes.

This is a book full of family secrets and devastating events that really pulled at my heart-strings.  Even though it made me cry, I really loved this book and would read it again.

I received this e-book from the publisher, Orion, via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

My rating:

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