Wednesday, 24 August 2016

After the Last Dance by Sarra Manning

Two women. Two love affairs. One unforgettable story. 

Kings Cross station, 1943. Rose arrives in London hoping to swap the drudgery of wartime for romance, glamour and jiving with GIs at Rainbow Corner, the famous dance hall in Piccadilly Circus. As the bombs fall, Rose loses her heart to a pilot but will lose so much more before the war has done its worst. 

Las Vegas, present day. A beautiful woman in a wedding dress walks into a seedy bar and asks the first man she sees to marry her. When Leo slips the ring onto Jane's finger, he has no idea that his new wife will stop at nothing to get what she wants. So when Jane meets Rose, now a formidable older lady, there's no love lost between them. But with time running out, can Rose and Jane come together to make peace with the tragic secrets that have always haunted their lives? After the Last Dance is an extraordinary story of two women, separated by time but connected by fate, that will make you believe in the redemptive power of unexpected love.

This is the first of Sarra Manning's novels that I have read and it was very enjoyable.

Written with a dual narrative it follows the present day story of Jane, alongside the wartime escapades of Rose, with a crossover as the book progresses. Both characters were excellently drawn and I was engaged with both narratives equally.

There are many novels out there set during World War Two but this had a slightly different perspective as through the character of Rose we see some of the experiences of the GI's in wartime London. The descriptions of Rainbow Corner are very evocative and I was drawn into the atmosphere the author created.

Jane's narrative is equally engaging. She is certainly not the innocent that Rose is portrayed as but her character is equally compelling. Whereas Rose was easy to like from the beginning, the character of Jane was not instantly likable but as the author gradually develops her character she becomes much more engaging and I found I liked her character very much.

I think this book is well worth a read. Combining the past and the present with some romance thrown in this novel will appeal to many readers.

ISBN:  978 0751561159

Publisher: Sphere

About the Author:

Sarra Manning is a teen queen extraordinaire. She spent five years working on the now sadly defunct J17, first as a writer and then as Entertainment Editor. She then joined the launch team of teen fashion bible Ellegirl, which she later went on to edit and has consulted on a wide range of youth titles including Bliss, The Face and More. 

Sarra is now editor of What To Wear magazine. She's also been a regular contributor to ELLE, The Guardian, ES Magazine, Seventeen, Details and Heat and wrote the Shop Bitch column for Time Out. Sarra lives in North London with her dog Miss Betsy.