Carrie Hope Fletcher’s latest novel is a bittersweet novel about the trials and tribulations of relationships – particularly when you work in the theatre.
Written with great insight not only into the backstage world of theatre but also the insecurities and doubts that can complicate relationships, Carrie Hope Fletcher’s When the Curtain Falls is not simply a fluffy romance. It covers with great depth topics such as dealing with domestic violence as well as learning how to overcome your insecurities, creating a heartfelt story that knows how to pack a punch – particularly towards the end.
Combining the past with the present, When the Curtain Falls focuses on Fawn and Walter’s relationship while working together on a production of When the Curtain Falls in 1952, while in the present day Oscar and Olive are struggling to make their relationship while working together in a new version of the play. It is filled with tragedy, hope and most importantly love.
With this story, Carrie Hope Fletcher offers readers a serious insight into what happens backstage on any production – the fun, the laughter but also all of the insecurities that working in the industry can bring. She writes about the theatre and the characters with such care and attention, that it makes it easy for the reader to care for the central characters and the outcome of their story. At times, the descriptions feel like a love letter to the world of theatre.
At no point does the story feel overly sweet, with references to Hamish abusing Fawn and tragedy in the 1952 segment of the story adding a sense drama and tension that is vividly described, while the present day element of the story keeps the plot balanced and entertaining.
It is also the variety of characters and the way in which they all ultimately have a part to play that keeps the plot moving forward at a reasonable pace. There is no real divergence from the two main plot strands that are effectively brought together, written with such confidence and intent – except perhaps when the way in which the romantic element can feel a bit too theatrical in places.
Entertaining, romantic and filled with plenty of twists and turns, When the Curtain Falls is immensely enjoyable from beginning to end. If you don’t believe in theatre ghosts before reading this – you might change your mind after this!
By Emma Clarendon
When the Curtain Falls is available to buy now.