Shrines of Gaiety
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'Atkinson on her finest form. A marvel of plate-spinning narrative knowhow, a peak performance of consummate control.' OBSERVER
'This is the perfect novel for uncertain times.' THE TIMES
'I can think of few writers other than Dickens who can match it' SUNDAY TIMES
'Brilliant' RICHARD OSMAN
'Kate Atkinson is simply one of the best writers working today, anywhere in the world' GILLIAN FLYNN
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, peers of the realm rub shoulders with starlets, foreign dignitaries with gangsters, and girls sell dances for a shilling a time.
At the heart of this glittering world is notorious Nellie Coker, ruthless but also ambitious to advance her six children, including the enigmatic eldest, Niven whose character has been forged in the crucible of the Somme. 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.
With her unique Dickensian flair, Kate Atkinson brings together a glittering cast of characters in a truly mesmeric novel that captures the uncertainty and mutability of life; of a world in which nothing is quite as it seems.
'Seduction, betrayal, and larger-than-life characters that will have you hooked until the last page' SUNDAY TELEGRAPH
'This book is one to savour, for the energy, for the wit, for the tenderness of characterisation that make Atkinson enduringly popular' GUARDIAN
'As vividly filthy, populous, dangerous as anything described by Dickens, but writing is closer to Thackeray's...Atkinson is a novelist of unrivalled immediacy, authority, and skill.' FINANCIAL TIMES