By Eloise Williams (Firefly Press)
Rescued by her uncle Sid after her mother disappears, Nansi lives a miserable existence doing turns in the theatre and thieving for her benefactor, in the hope of one day being able to afford to hire a detective to find her mother.
But when Constance and Violet join the theatre and Constance recognises her, Nansi realises that illusions are not only used on stage and things are not always what they seem…
Eloise Williams captures Victorian Cardiff and distils it into a pacy novel with a courageous and determined heroine and a truly villainous Victorian adversary. Despite the book’s dark tone, it has a beautiful streak of warmth and hope running through it that you cannot help but cling to during some of the narrative’s grittier moments.
I found this to be a thrilling story which included lots of small details of Victorian life that I was unaware of before. Combine this with the atmospheric descriptions of Cardiff and life in a Victorian theatre, and Gaslight portrays more depth than some ‘adult’ historical fiction!
It all adds up to make a wonderful Dickensian novel full of intriguing twists and turns. A story of family and friendship, tragedy and triumph, not to be missed.
*We recommend this for 10 years and up due to the ‘Oliver Twist’ style violence.
Want to know more about how Eloise Williams wrote Gaslight? Check out this fascinating piece written by her on it here http://www.walesartsreview.org/how-i-wrote-gaslight-by-eloise-williams/.