‘A superbly gifted writer ... Freud creates relationships so fraught and delicate that at times the characters can hardly bear to examine them ... She explores them with a dazzling clarity that reveals her true, writer's calling’
New York Times
It is their first day at Drama Arts, and the circle of huddled, nervous students are told in no uncertain terms that here, unlike at any other drama school, they will be taught to Act. To Be. To exist in their own world on the stage. But outside is the real world - a pitiless, alluring place in which each of them in their most fervent dreams, hopes to flourish and excel. Nell, insecure and dumpy, wonders if she will ever be cast as anything other than the maid. She'll never compete, she knows this, with the multitude of confident, long-legged beauties thronging the profession - most notably Charlie, whose effortless ascendance is nothing less than she expects. While Dan, ambitious and serious, has his sights fixed on Hamlet, as well as on fiery, rebellious Jemma. Over the following decade these young actors will grapple with haphazard tours, illogical auditions, unobtainable agents, deluxe caravans, rocky relationships and red-carpet premieres.
This dazzling new novel from Esther Freud uncovers a world of ruthless ambition, uncertain alliances and the many-sided holy grail of Success.
For fans of 'The Understudy' by David Nicholls and 'The Rehearsal' by Eleanor Catton, comes a fresh new departure for Esther Freud, whose novels – from Hideous Kinky to Love Falls - are read and loved worldwide. This stunning novel draws upon Esther’s time at drama school before becoming a novelist and is rich with her lucid observation of human nature. Her characters are so real, they feel like friends and this novel is a modern-day Cinderella story with a twist and an absolute joy to read. Settle back and enjoy...