by Charlotte Wilson
LOVE AND LONGING IN THE BRIGHT LIGHTS OF LONDON
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?
A coming-of-age novel about family and first love, in the city of hopes and dreams.
Ava had come back to London, to get reacquainted not only with the city, but with the memories of her past, her mother’s past. Beatrice Duvall was a renowned ballerina admired by a whole nation, until the day she died. Now Ava Hadley was to honor her mom’s legacy through a tribute, the Swan Lake. But Ava couldn’t take part in the ballet, not now, not anymore… because Ava could no longer dance.. she couldn’t.. she wouldn’t.
Swan Song is a coming of age story of love, denial, acceptance, longing, family and self-forgiveness. It’s a beautiful story that will tug at your heartstrings. I love how Ava was portrayed – young, yearning, eager and at the same time, anxious and intuitive. She’d been living in her mother’s shadow, a mother she never met nor grew up with. She craved for that beatific affiliation for her mother, but as her journey unfolded, more questions remain unanswered while her feelings for a boy slowly unraveled.
Sebastian Wright, aka Seb, was a delightful character and a great friend. I love how he came into Ava’s life and took her world in quite a spin. His family was a little too eccentric for my taste (Thisbe is confusing but certainly a dear) but he did make the story more meaningful and engaging.
The ending was beautiful and heartwarming. I sighed like a teen who had seen her crush pass by. Seb and Ava made me smile and sigh like that. And I loved it. Charlotte Wilson had me sighing and grinning like a lovestruck teen!