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, We Shall See the Sky Sparkling, 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!
About the AuthorBorn in Spain of an English father and a Spanish mother, Susana Aikin is a writer and a filmmaker who has lived and worked in New York City since 1982. She was educated in both England and Spain; studied law at the University of Madrid, and later Creative Writing at Manchester Metropolitan University, UK. In 1986 she started her own independent film production company, Starfish Productions, producing and directing documentary films that won her multiple awards, including an American Film Institute grant, a Rockefeller Fellowship, and an Emmy Award in 1997. She started writing fiction full time in 2010. She has two sons and now lives between Brooklyn and the mountains north of Madrid. For more information, visit Susana Aikin’s website. You can also find her on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and Goodreads.
Praise“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 ScheduleWednesday, 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 Friday, February 15 Review at A Bookish Affair Feature at Myths, Legends, Books, and Coffee Pots 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 Thursday, February 21 Feature at The Lit Bitch Feature at View from the Birdhouse 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
GiveawayDuring 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 Rules – 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. We Shall See the Sky Sparkling