by Susana Aikin
Publication Date: January 29, 2019
Kensington Publishing Corporation
Paperback & eBook; 416 Pages
Genre: Historical Fiction
Set in London and Russia at the turn of the century, Susana Aikin’s debut introduces a vibrant young woman determined to defy convention and shape an extraordinary future.
Like other well-bred young women in Edwardian England, Lily Throop is expected to think of little beyond marriage and motherhood. Passionate about the stage, Lily has very different ambitions. To her father’s dismay, she secures an apprenticeship at London’s famous Imperial Theatre. Soon, her talent and beauty bring coveted roles and devoted admirers. Yet to most of society, the line between actress and harlot is whisper-thin. With her reputation threatened by her mentor’s vicious betrayal, Lily flees to St. Petersburg with an acting troupe–leaving her first love behind.
Life in Russia is as exhilarating as it is difficult. The streets rumble with talk of revolution, and Lily is drawn into an affair with Sergei, a Count with fervent revolutionary ideals. Following Sergei when he is banished to Vladivostok, Lily struggles to find her role in an increasingly dangerous world. And as Russian tensions with Japan erupt into war, only fortitude and single-mindedness can steer her to freedom and safety at last.
With its sweeping backdrop and evocative details, We Shall See the Sky Sparkling explores a fascinating period in history through the eyes of a strong-willed, singular heroine, in a moving story of love and resilience.
I’m so excited to be part of this blog tour today and share my opinion about this well-written story, which kept me reading until far past my bedtime. In her debut novel, Susana Aikin really shows her talent in captivating the reader’s attention from the very beginning.
I was really fascinated by Lily Throop’s story, not only for her being such a strong female character in an era where women weren’t supposed to follow their dreams if those included independence and artistic ambitions, but especially for Susan’s beautiful and descriptive prose.
Each page perfectly recreates the atmosphere of that historical period, and I find superb the letters Lily sends to her family, because I think they reveal her intimate hope to be accepted by her family, despite all the social conventions, for her being a woman with her flaws but perseverance, a woman who is just looking for her special place in the world.
Thank you to the author and the publisher for my free copy!
“Aikin’s novel is expertly plotted and rife with historical details in both its English and Russian settings, making for a rich story of the prejudices women faced at the turn of the 20th century and how the class disparity in Russia ignited the flame of revolution.” – Publishers Weekly
“Beginning and ending with letters written to her family, this novel has the feel of a serial drama. Readers of Pam Jenoff and Eva Stachniak will appreciate the strong-willed and artistically driven female character who finds her own way through difficult times.” – Library Journal
“. . . vivid and compelling – an exceptional woman on an extraordinary journey . . .” ~ Livi Michael, Author of War of the Roses Trilogy
“Against the dramatic backdrops of a Russia on the brink of revolution and the colorful lives backstage of the London theatre circuit, Susana Aikin has created a feisty Edwardian protagonist whose trajectory still resonates with the predicament of women working in the arts today.” ~ Sara Alexander, Under a Sardinian Sky and Four Hundred and Forty Steps to the Sea
“We Shall See the Sky Sparkling kept me up at night until blurry eyed, cheering Lily on through all her wild adventures, until she becomes one of those rare heroines, a mature independent woman to admire.” ~ Melissa Burch, Author of My Journey Through War and Peace
“Susana Aikin’s directorial eye is much in evidence in this sweeping saga. Her attention to period detail transports the reader on a filmic journey that is both astonishing and tragic. We Shall See the Sky Sparkling is a powerful meditation on the sacrifices women have made in pursuit of their dreams – sadly, as relevant in the early 21st century as a hundred years ago.” ~ Helen Steadman, Best-selling Author of Widdershins and Sunwise
“We Shall See the Sky Sparkling is a vivid, thoroughly absorbing account of one woman’s struggle to break from the rigid roles her social class and time period. Drawing from her family’s history and a series of fascinating letters, Aikin crafts a marvelous tale of adventure, rebellion, and romance, on a captivating journey from the theaters of Edwardian London to tumultuous St. Petersburg and beyond. Lily shines as a heroine of uncommon strength–her struggle to protect and foster her independence, even as she navigates through great loves and treacherous times, is to be relished and remembered.” ~ Suzanne Nelson, Author of Serendipity Footsteps
Blog Tour Schedule
Wednesday, February 6
Review & Interview at Passages to the Past
Thursday, February 7
Guest Post at Let Them Read Books
Friday, February 8
Feature at What Is That Book About
Saturday, February 9
Feature at Broken Teepee
Monday, February 11
Review at A Chick Who Reads
Tuesday, February 12
Review & Guest Post at Clarissa Reads it All
Thursday, February 14
Feature at Queen of Random
Saturday, February 16
Review at Jorie Loves a Story
Monday, February 18
Review at Diana_bibliophile
Tuesday, February 19
Guest Post at Jathan & Heather
Wednesday, February 20
Review at Pursuing Stacie
Friday, February 22
Feature at Maiden of the Pages
Monday, February 25
Review at Comet Readings
Tuesday, February 26
Feature at Christine’s Book Corner
Wednesday, February 27
Feature at CelticLady’s Reviews
Thursday, February 28
Review at Oh, the Books She Will Read
During the Blog Tour we will be giving away a paperback copy of We Shall See the Sky Sparkling! To enter, please use the Gleam form below.
– Giveaway ends at 11:59pm EST on February 28th. You must be 18 or older to enter.
– Giveaway is open to US only.
– Only one entry per household.
– All giveaway entrants agree to be honest and not cheat the systems; any suspect of fraud is decided upon by blog/site owner and the sponsor, and entrants may be disqualified at our discretion.
– Winner has 48 hours to claim prize or new winner is chosen.