Thursday 22 February 2024

#Blogtour The Sleeping Beauties by Lucy Ashe

 It's my turn on the Blogtour The Sleeping Beauties by Lucy Ashe.

About the Author

After training at the Royal Ballet School for eight years, Lucy Ashe decided to change career plans and go to university, where she read English Literature before doing a PGCE teaching qualification, and she is now a teacher. Her poetry and short stories have been published in a number of literary journals and she was shortlisted for the 2020 Impress Prize for New Writers. Follow @LSAshe1 on X

About the book

May, 1945. - At long last, Rosamund Caradon is feeling optimistic. As she returns the last few evacuees to London from her Devonshire manor, she vows to protect dance obsessed daughter Jasmine from further peril. But a chance meeting with a Sadler’s Wells ballerina changes everything. 

When the beautiful, elusive Briar Woods bursts into Rosamund’s train carriage, it’s clear her sights are set on the immediately captivated Jasmine. And Rosamund cannot shake the feeling this accidental encounter is not what it seems. 

While Briar may be far away from the pointe shoes and greasepaint of the Sleeping Beauty ballet that is so much a part of her, this performance might well be her most successful yet. For what she is watching, Rosamund feels, is a strangely unique show, one that’s just for a mother and a daughter… 


Not going to lie, this started out as a bit of a chaotic read for me. It opened up (digital) on the prologue, which I thought was a great beginning to a serial killer murder - in my defence I had forgotten the blurb and the title sounded like a catchy crime story. Then the first chapter - Act 1, it's war refugees being returned to their homes. Confused, I go back to before the prologue to read Stage Notes, then return to Act 1 for the mysterious and intense ballerina, who has now joined us. To be fair the glaringly obvious references should have been a clue.

Rosamund and her daughter Jasmine meet the persistent and intriguing Briar, whilst returning to London. Something about Briar triggers a gut reaction of concern in Rosamund, something just isn't right about this young woman, who like Jasmine is a lover of ballet. Briar burrows her way into the relationship between mother and daughter, but why?

Throughout the story there is a constant redefining of what motherhood is and whether being a mother is always the bog standard version of what society expects. Is knowing the truth about who you are always the right answer?

It's a good read, which gives great insight into the passion, work ethic and the almost obsessive dedication to ballet. How the world within it becomes its own microcosm of beauty, grace, art and expression. Perhaps also on a bigger scale how moments of pure beauty can bring a little joy in the most difficult of situations.

On a side note, there are no serial killers in the story at all, although I stand by the fact the prologue and title sound like a great idea for a crime novel.

Buy The Sleeping Beauties at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Published by Magpie, pub date 15th February 2024 - Hardback £16.99. Buy at Amazon com.

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