Shines of Gaiety
By Kate Atkinson
Published September 27, 2022 by Doubleday Canada
In 1926, while still recovering from the Great War, the London nightlife was thriving. In the clubs of SoHo, you’ll find everyone from dignitaries to gangsters spending their evenings together and young girls selling them dances. The story follows the Night Club Queen, Nellie Coker and her six children as their nightclub empire faces threats from several others.
Based on the life of Kate Mayrick, also known as “Night Club Queen”, and the nightlife of London in the 1920s, this book was an incredibly interesting and compelling read. Kate Atkinson’s writing is captivating, she built up such a great cast of characters and a story that left me wanting more and more at the end of each chapter. I love books with a large cast of characters, when done correctly, which this was. There was so much that was out into each character to develop them throughout the story. Each character or group of characters seemed to have some connection in one way or another to everyone else, even if it was very small or subtle. This book is in my favourite genre, historical fiction, and it delivers what is expected in that. There was also a hint of romance and mystery throughout the story too. I was left wondering and questioning what was going to come next throughout the book. However, I felt the ending was a bit disappointing as it felt rushed through. The whole book was great in detail and description, but once the conclusion came, it was done in a matter of a few short chapters. Even so, I still thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. I loved how it was written and the story was very entertaining.
This was my first Kate Atkinson book and certainly not my last. I definitely recommend this book to anyone who loves historical fiction.
Thank you to Penguin Random House Canada for sending me this gifted copy in exchange for my honest review.
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