From the best-selling author of the phenomenally successful The Kashmir Shawl.
London 1870: a terrifying place for a young, beautiful woman of limited means. But Eliza is modern before her time. Not for her the stifling if respectable conventionality of marriage, children, domestic drudgery. She longs for more.
Through her work as an artist’s model, she meets the magnetic and irascible Devil - a born showman whose dream is to run his own theatre company. Devil’s right-hand man is the improbably named Carlo Bonomi, an ill-tempered dwarf with an enormous talent for all things magic and illusion. Carlo and Devil clash at every opportunity and it constantly falls upon Eliza to broker an uneasy peace between them. And then there is Jasper Button. Mild-mannered, and a family man at heart, it is his gift as an artist which makes him the unlikely final member of the motley crew.
Thrown together by a twist of fate, their lives are inextricably linked: The fortune of one depends on the fortune of the other. And as Eliza gets sucked into the seductive and dangerous world her strange companions inhabit, she risks not only her heart, but also her life.…
"Love, seduction, magic, and illusion collide as Rosie Thomas takes us on a spellbinding journey through an extremely shadowy world." (Daily Express)
"A superbly researched and vivid evocation of wartime Kashmir and Ladakh." (Daily Mail on The Kashmir Shawl)
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Started well and went downhill
If the characters had been less annoying! The "independent" lady seemed to accept the arrogance, selfishnish and verging on violent "hero". It started off really interesting and I thought it would be about the characters in the playhouse. I enjoyed the victorian atmosphere and particularly Carlo. I continued listening to see if the hero would get his comeuppance.
The two main characters could have had a different storyline!
The last third of the book
I found it strange that people could find the hero attractive - he hinted several times that he could/would rape her.
Atmospheric tale of late Victorian music hall life