BOOK REVIEW: CARRIE HOPE FLETCHER – WHEN THE CURTAIN FALLS

*Just a gentle note, this review may contain small spoilers*

I’ve read every single book from Carrie and I’ve really enjoyed reading them. Pure escapism at it’s finest. And Carrie has a new book out called When The Curtain Falls. So, what is it about? This is the blurb:

Theatres have a certain kind of magic. When the curtain rises, we are all enraptured by the glare of the lights and the smell of the greasepaint, but it’s when the curtain falls that the real magic begins…

In 1952, two young lovers, Fawn Burrows and Walter Brown, meet backstage in a beautiful West End theatre during a production of When The Curtain Falls. Between clandestine meetings and stolen moments, they must hide their love from the one person who will stop at nothing to keep Fawn for himself. But life in the theatre doesn’t always follow the script, and tragedy and heartache are waiting in the wings for all the players…

Almost seventy years later, a new production arrives at the theatre, bringing with it Oscar Bright and Olive Green and their budding romance. But no sooner has the new cast settled into their dressing rooms than strange things begin to happen. Ghosts of productions past haunt the theatre, or so the story goes. Can Oscar and Olive get to the truth of the matter before tragedy strikes once more?

I was really excited about this book, more so than any other’s of Carrie’s books previously, mostly down to the fact that I love books and a huge fan of theatre. So, the two of them together? For me, the perfect cocktail. I was really looking forward to reading this book also because of Carrie also being part of the theatre world as well as her books.

If I’m honest, I’m in two minds of this book. I did enjoy it, don’t get me wrong, but part of me feels as if there wasn’t enough plot, especially in the first half of the book.  For me, it was just too much Oscar and Olive going round in circles and they started to drive me up the wall. For me, the strongest parts were the flashbacks with Fawn and Walter. They were the most ‘real’ relationship in the story and I connected with them a lot more. Oscar and Olive just felt a bit too forced for me to care about them. I was also disappointed in the fact that there was not much supernatural and the past leaking through the theatre’s walls, onto the stage. With this, the ending felt slightly rushed. And at same parts it went a bit pantomime with some characters. But, on the other hand, it was a great, easy read, perfect before going to sleep. And that cover is just gorgeous! However, I did like the ending but I wish there was more of a progression, otherwise I would have cared a lot more.

My favourite character in the book has to be Walter. I thought he was just brilliant, both in real-time and in the flashbacks. He truly bounced off the page for me. I could see him arriving at the theatre for the first time, manning stage door, lingering at the stage wings, waiting for Fawn to arrive. I could have read an entire book about Walter and his shenanigans at stage door. I particularly loved the prologue as it set up the story very well and it was brilliantly visual.

There are some brilliantly descriptive pieces of writing in this book, for example:

A certain kind of magic is born when the curtain rises. Intoxicated by the smell of the greasepaint and powered by the glow of the footlights, lovers successfully elope, villains get their just deserts and people die in epic stunts and yet live to tell the tale. Thousands pay to sit and be fools by illusions and still jump to their feet to applaud despite their gullibility. It’s an explicable, delicious, addictive power that keeps people entranced and coming back for more, again and again.

Is it my favourite book from Carrie’s? I thought it would be but sadly, I don’t think it is overall. I love the idea of the theatre and the ghosts of the theatre, but it just didn’t work as a whole for me with not enough plot. But it was still a good read and enjoyable. And I’m still in love with the character of Walter.

I’m looking forward to see what Carrie writes next.

Have you read When The Curtain Falls yet? What did you think? Let me know in the comments!

Thanks,

Corey.

 

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