The Sleeping Beauties

By Lucy Ashe (Author)

Late spring 1945, London: The war in Europe is over. But for Briar Woods, a dancer at Sadler’s Wells Ballet, the past resurfaces and she must come face to face with the truth. It feels as though her war has only just begun.

Since 1939, Rosamund Caradon had taken in many children from Britain’s bombarded cities, sheltering them in her Devonshire manor. Now, with Germany’s surrender, she is en route to London to return the last evacuees, accompanied by her dance-obsessed daughter Jasmine. Rosamund vows to protect Jasmine from any peril, but a chance meeting with a Sadler’s Wells dancer changes everything. When the beautiful, elusive Briar Woods bursts into Rosamund’s train carriage, it’s clear her sights are set on the captivated Jasmine. As Briar sets out to charm them both, Rosamund cannot shake the eerie feeling this accidental encounter isn’t what it seems. While Briar may be far away from the pointe shoes and greasepaint of The Sleeping Beauty ballet rehearsals, her performance for Rosamund might just be her most successful yet. A dance that could turn deadly . . .
“Rich with historical detail and high-stakes drama. Mesmerizing.”—Alice Robb, author of Don’t Think, Dear: On Loving and Leaving Ballet

“An enchanting mix of historical fiction, fairy tale, and above all, ballet novel. Ashe’s ballet background shines through as her dancers come to life. . . . Well researched, but communicated with a light touch. Recommended for anyone who ever dreamed of becoming a dancer.”—Laura Shepperson, author of London Sunday Times bestseller The Heroines

“A wonderfully compelling, truly competent thriller. . . . Rarely have I been so keen to uncover the truth. Simply excellent.”—Historical Novel Society


“The ballet world sets the stage for this terrifying psychological thriller that takes place in pre-war London.”—Entertainment Weekly

“Ashe transitions her narrative from charming slice of historical fiction to pulse-pounding suspense at an expert pace. It’s a fiercely memorable debut from a writer to watch.”—Publishers Weekly (starred review)

“Historical-novel fans as well as those who enjoy a bit of gothic intrigue will appreciate this story.”—Booklist

“Based on the real ballet scene in prewar London, this immersive tale will be a delight for historical-fiction fans who like a touch of suspense.”—Library Journal

“Ashe trained with the Royal Ballet School, and she is fascinating on the detail of the girls’ lives. . . . A wonderful, eye-opening debut.”—London Times

“Dances with historical details, with unease and atmosphere. You can feel the mist of the London canals, hear the ballet shoes touching the stage.”—Abigail Dean, bestselling author of Girl A

“[An] unsettling tale. . . . As the story follows the rehearsals for the ballet Coppélia, we receive a quick-fire education on how the ballet works and why it inspires obsession. . . . An original thriller with a crafty plot.”—Daily Mail -

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Lucy Ashe is an English teacher. After training at the Royal Ballet School, she decided to change career plans and go to university. She studied English literature at St. Hugh’s College, Oxford, before receiving her teaching qualification. Ashe’s poetry and short stories have been published in a number of literary journals, and she was shortlisted for the 2020 Impress Prize for New Writers. Her first novel, The Dance of the Dolls, was published in 2023. She lives in New York City.

Pub Date: 9/10/2024

ISBN: 9781454951254

Price: $18.99 / $24.99 CAN

Format: Paperback

Pages: 352 pages

Trim: 5.5 x 8.25 x 0 Inches

Territories: US/Can

Category: Fiction

Publisher: Union Square & Co.

The Dance of the Dolls

The Dance of the Dolls