Monday, 22 February 2016

The Glittering Art of Falling Apart by Ilana Fox

1980s Soho is electric. For Eliza, the heady pull of its nightclubs and free-spirited people leads her into the life she has craved - all glamour, late nights and excitement. But it comes at a heavy cost. Cassie is fascinated by her family's history and the abandoned Beaufont Hall. Why won't her mother talk about it? Offered the chance to restore Beaufont to its former glory, Cassie jumps at the opportunity to learn more about her past. Separated by a generation, but linked by a forgotten diary, these two women have more in common than they know . . .

The Glittering Art of Falling Apart is the first book I have read by Ilana Fox and I didn’t know what to expect as the cover and the synopsis didn’t give much away but as soon as I had finished reading the Prologue I couldn’t wait to get stuck into the main storyline.

Cassie cannot face Beaufont Hall being sold since it has been in her family for generations but with the once grand house is rapidly deteriorating and with no money to bring it back to its former glory her mum is determined to sell but allows Cassie time to say her goodbyes to the home whilst tidying the place up, but Cassie uncovers diaries which she hopes will shed some light on the family she knows so little about and yet feels such a connection with.

Eliza is a free spirit and is living it up in Soho but it’s not long before she realises the partying and lifestyle she has comes at a price.

The chapters alternate between Cassie in the present day and Eliza back in the 1970’s and 80’s and each of the storylines are woven together perfectly and have a perfect balance. I am not typically a fan of dual time frame storylines as I always find one period holds my attention and I am eager to get back to that time but with this book I had equal interest in both time frames and it was great to see how London has changed over the years as well as how traditions have changed.

We get to know Eliza at the same time as Cassie does as we build a picture of her character through her diary entries. Cassie and Eliza were both wonderful characters with completely different personalities so they each brought something different to the storyline. I found I could relate to Cassie more, for me as she was a gentle caring character who was sensible and has a great respect for traditions, whereas Eliza was a carefree woman who enjoyed living day to day and enjoying the party life not knowing from one minute to the next what path she would take next.

I was so wrapped up in the storyline and when I had read about three quarters of the book something just suddenly clicked and I had an idea that something big was going to be revealed but I  hadn’t had any idea that a twist could lay ahead all the way through the book and although my interest had been held all the way through, when I reached this point I felt myself racing through the remaining pages just to see if what I believed was going to be revealed was right.

This is a book about family secrets and betrayal with a blossoming romance. The storyline at times was vibrant and glamorous and at other times traditional and heartbreaking making this a real emotive read. The author has such a wonderful writing style that slowly builds the storyline and then hits the reader with a dramatic revelation and she also creates such engaging characters. I cannot wait to get my hands on another book by this author.

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