This was a tough choice. A really tough choice. I had two contenders for BotW this week and it was so hard to decide. In the end I went for Ilana Fox’s The Glittering Art of Falling Apart – as comes out on February 11th. I’m not telling you what my other option was, because it’s part of a series and can’t help but feel that a blog post may come on it further down the line…
The Glittering Art of Falling Apart is a timeslip novel set in the 1980s and the present day. And there’s a country house involved. And as regular readers will know, this is just the sort of thing that I love. The present day heroine is Cassie – obsessed with trying to keep the abandoned Beaufont Hall in the family, despite her mother’s reluctance to talk about her childhood there. Tenancious Cassie wants to know more. Back in the 1980s, Eliza is breaking free from her family for the bright lights and glamour of Soho. But will it bring her the future that she craves or is the price to heavy?
If you’ve read a few timeslip type novels you will probably have a few ideas about where this story is going (I certainly did), but this is so well put together, that it doesn’t matter. Often in books like this a location is a character in the book – I was expecting Beaufont Hall to take that role, but actually it’s Soho that is the start location in The Glittering Art of Falling Apart. Ilana Fox paints such a vivid picture of this patch of London in the 1980s you can almost smell it. And there’s also a really clever use of music to help create the atmosphere as Eliza tries to make her mark on Soho. I had OMD’s Enola Gay stuck in my head for two days but the lovely people at Orion have pointed me at the playlist that Fox has put together for the book which has given me some ideas for a bit more variety!
I haven’t read any of Ilana Fox’s novels before, but from reading the descriptions of them it seems like this may be a bit of a shift. If you like books like Harriet Evans A Place for Us or Rosanna Ley’s The Saffron Trail, this may be the book for you. My copy came from NetGalley*, but I think this should be fairly widely available when it comes out – it feels like it might be the sort of book that goes into the supermarkets (and I hope it does) – but here are some links if you want to pre-order (or buy if you’re reading on Thursday or later) Amazon, Foyles, Waterstones, Kindle and Kobo.
One final note – at time of writing this, I spotted previous BotW The Astronaut Wives Club on a deal on Kobo for 99p – which is a total bargain – and Kindle seem to be price matching it. Go forth and purchase!
*And this seems like a good point to remind everyone of my standard disclaimer – I review everything I read over on Goodreads but I only recommend stuff here that I genuinely like. The books I read are a mixture of books that I’ve purchased myself, books that I’ve been given and e-proofs via NetGalley. I try to acknowledge where the books that I review here come from in the interests of transparency, but being given a book for free doesn’t influence the review that I give it – I’m always honest about my thoughts.