Thursday 1 April 2021

Watch her Fall by Erin Kelly BLOG TOUR @mserinkelly @HodderBooks @ReadEatRetreat #WatchHerFall #BookReview


Swan Lake is divided into the black acts and the white acts. The Prince is on stage for most of the ballet, but it's the swans audiences flock to see. In early productions, Odette and Odile were performed by two different dancers. These days, it is usual for the same dancer to play both roles. Because of the faultless ballet technique required to master the steps, and the emotional range needed to perform both the virginal Odette and the dark, seductive Odile, this challenging dual role is one of the most coveted in all ballet. Dancers would kill for the part.

Ava Kirilova has reached the very top of her profession. After years and years of hard graft, pain and sacrifice as part of the London Russian Ballet Company, allowing nothing else to distract her, she is finally the poster girl for Swan Lake. Even Mr K - her father, and the intense, terrifying director of the company - can find no fault. Ava has pushed herself ahead of countless other talented, hardworking girls, and they are all watching her now.

But there is someone who really wants to see Ava fall . . .

Watch Her Fall by Erin Kelly is published by Hodder, in hardback on 1 April 2021. The paperback will follow in March next year. My thanks to the publisher who sent my copy for review as part of this blog tour.

A new book from Erin Kelly is always a treat to look forward to. I received my copy of Watch Her Fall at the end of last year and devoured it over the Christmas break. I've been wanting to talk about it for so long, and now is my chance. 

Kelly is already known as one of the best, most original writers of psychological fiction. I have read all of her previous novels and enjoyed every one of them. This novel, Watch Her Fall, catapults her to the next level, it is a thrilling and cinematic story of control, deceit and passion. It's a story that the reader must invest heavily in, filled to the brim with layers of intrigue, told with a precision that is quite stunning and populated by characters who are never quite who they seem to be. 

I have little previous knowledge of ballet, or of the story of Swan Lake, and I have found this element of this story quite fascinating. My YouTube history is now made up of video clips from various performances of Swan Lake, and knowing the story has given me an appreciation of the beauty of this form of dance.

Ava Kirilova is the principal dancer at the London Russian Ballet, and is about to achieve her life time dream; she will be Odile and Odette in the production of Swan Lake currently being devised by Nicky Kirilova, or Mr K, as he is affectionately known as. Not only is Mr K, the founder and owner of the company, he is also Ava's father, and she is under immense pressure to ensure that this performance will be the best that audiences will ever see.

There's a glamour and intrigue about the arts, not just ballet, but theatre, cinema, music and writing, all have a glossy exterior and seem to be filled with beautiful people creating wonderful imagery with graceful ease. In Watch Her Fall, Erin Kelly uncovers the reality of life for a dancer. The cult-like standing of Mr K, his controlling behaviour, the bitterness, the jealousy. The anguish of being passed over for a part, the bleeding feet, the constant rehearsal, and in the case of the London Russian Ballet members, the total control over their lives. No phones, no bank accounts, no take out food, no friends from outside .... no life, other than ballet. 

As preparations for the new show get more and more frantic, a new 'second swan' is needed and young Juliet is thrilled to be offered the part. 

Suddenly, it all comes crashing down. Injuries, and death cast a huge shadow over the ballet and both Juliet and Ava find themselves on the outside. Floundering, no longer able to do what they love and struggling to discover who they are, and who they may go on to be. 

This story is not just set on stage. The author intricately weaves another thread into this tale. That of the dangers faced by those people who are forced to live undercover. Those who have left everything that they love to find a new life, but have only discovered more pain and heartache. 

To say much more would be straying in the field of spoilers, and I can't do that. I can say, however, that this is an outstandingly acute look at human nature, with propulsive writing that is moody, and chilling, and at times terrifying. 

I was immersed in this book. I was amazed by the clever way that the author turns things around, in plain sight, yet hidden from view at the same time. It is so intricate, so tightly plotted and in my opinion, the author's best book to date. 

Erin Kelly is the Sunday Times bestselling author of The Poison Tree, The Sick Rose, The Burning
Air, The Ties That Bind, He Said/She Said, Stone Mothers and Broadchurch: The Novel, inspired by the mega-hit TV series. 

In 2013, The Poison Tree became a major ITV drama and was a Richard & Judy Summer Read in 2011. 

He Said/She Said spent six weeks in the top ten in both hardback and paperback, was longlisted for the Theakston’s Old Peculier crime novel of the year award, and selected for both the Simon Mayo Radio 2 and Richard & Judy Book Clubs. 

She has worked as a freelance journalist since 1998 and written for the Guardian, The Sunday Times, Daily Mail, New Statesman, Red, Elle, Cosmopolitan and The Pool. 

Born in London in 1976, she lives in north London with her husband and daughters.

No comments:

Post a Comment