Title: When the Curtain Falls
Author: Carrie Hope Fletcher
In 1952 two young lovers meet, in secret, at the beautiful Southern Cross theatre in the very heart of London’s West End. Their relationship is made up of clandestine meetings and stolen moments because there is someone who will make them suffer if he discovers she is no longer ‘his’. But life in the theatre doesn’t always go according to plan and tragedy and heartache are waiting in the wings for all the players . . .
Almost seventy years later, a new production of When the Curtain Falls arrives at the theatre, bringing with it Oscar Bright and Olive Green and their budding romance. Very soon, though, strange things begin to happen and they learn about the ghost that’s haunted the theatre since 1952, a ghost who can only be seen on one night of the year. Except the ghost is appearing more often and seems hell bent on sabotaging Oscar and Olive. The young couple realise they need to right that wrong from years gone by, but can they save themselves before history repeats itself and tragedy strikes once more?
Despite owning 3 of her books, this, the most recent of her releases, was the first book I read by Carrie Hope Fletcher. I’ve been a fan of hers for years and of course I’ll support her writing. But that also meant I should really read what she writes. This book is special because it revolves around the theatre business, where Carrie spends most of the time and so I felt a connection and a passion in her words because I could tell this was so special to her.
I enjoyed this book. I don’t know much about the West-End or the theatre world in general, but I felt welcomed and it was like a behind-the-scenes of what happens during a production and it was great knowing that Carrie relied on her own experiences and knowledge that shaped the little bits and pieces of information we were given throughout.
The story itself was a good one – a tragic lovestory that happened 70 years ago is to repeat itself with a new production of the same play, When the Curtain Falls. I liked this ghost-story romance aspect of the story, but also the little twist of magic it contains.
Olive and Oscar have a secret relationship as they work on the production of When the Curtain Falls, but it’s getting harder to keep a secret, especially because Olive wants it out in the open, but Oscar is hesitant. This adds to the whole “Oh will their relationship survive as a secret” etc, which helped keep the story interesting – aside from all the ghost action.
Then we have Walter, a rather important character that we get to experience in various stages of his life, as he grew up and how he ended up in the West End and just how important he is to the storyline.
The characters are all well developed and fleshed out and the language is easy to read, which in return makes the book a quick read. Sometimes we don’t need poetic writing and tongue-twisting words to screw up our flow. Sometimes we just need simple, and Carrie provides us with that in the best way possible.
It’s easy to see the passion and love that Carrie has for the theatre world. Phrases and information are weaved seamlessly into the story without feeling forced or misplaced.
Also, I think it was great seeing how Carrie incorporated herself into this story – as the producer of the original play. Brilliant.
The drama involved was good, yet slightly cliché and seen before, especially in movies, but it was still written well otherwise I think it would have been hell to read through.
So thank the gods for that.
Do I recommend this book?
I do, yes.
To theatre lovers and your all round romance fiction readers