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Shrines of Gaiety

by Kate Atkinson


I’m a huge Kate Atkinson fan and in Shrines of Gaiety she delivers again!! 1926, and in a country still recovering from the Great War, London has become the focus for a delirious new nightlife. In the clubs of Soho, aristocrats rub shoulders with starlets, foreign dignitaries with gangsters, and girls sell dances for a shilling a time.

The notorious queen of this glittering world is Nellie Coker, ruthless but also ambitious to advance her six quirky children, all different and not overly-known to their mother. But success breeds enemies, and Nellie’s empire faces threats from without and within. For beneath the dazzle of Soho’s gaiety, there is a dark underbelly, a world in which it is all too easy to become lost, especially if you’re a young girl seeking fame on the stage, as Detective Chief Inspector  Frobisher discovers…

With her unique Dickensian flair, Kate Atkinson brings together a glittering cast of characters in a truly mesmeric novel. Slyly funny, brilliantly observant, and ingeniously plotted, Shrines of Gaiety showcases the myriad talents that have made Atkinson one of the most lauded writers of our time.

If Dickens had lived to write about The Jazz Age, he would have produced a novel much like Kate Atkinson’s Shrines of Gaiety. A sprawling and sparkling tale …. captures the excitement of Roaring 20s London. – Washington Post

[Atkinson] takes on London in the 1920s, masterfully capturing both its shimmer and its seediness…It’s a deliciously fun, absorbing read. – Time

Atkinson vividly conjures the post-Great War London of a century ago…Tangible warmth suffuses her storytelling…A cocktail of fizz and melancholy, generously poured.- The New York Times Book Review

There is the perfect balance throughout of sweetness and heartbreak. And, as always, there is the unmistakable zest of Ms. Atkinson’s dry wit…Ms. Atkinson has perfected the comic wizardry that keeps us both airborne and immersed in her mosaic-like narratives – The Wall Street Journal

Kate Atkinson is a novelist of unrivalled immediacy, authority and skill…This book is sharp, witty and fiendishly plotted. You don’t so much read it as surrender to it, and you sense—and share—the relish with which she creates such an attention-grabbing cast. It’s an exhilarating ride. – Financial Times

A heady brew of crime, romance and satire set amid the sordid glitz of London nightlife in the 1920s…This is Atkinson on her finest form…A marvel of plate-spinning narrative knowhow, a peak performance of consummate control. – The Observer

grabs the reader from the outset… paints a picture of the capital’s glittering nightlife and its seedier underside so vivid, that it is almost possible to smell the stale cigarette smoke and taste the alcohol. – The Independent

a heady brew of crime, romance and satire set amid the sordid glitz of London nightlife in the 1920s. – The Guardian

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