Clara & Olivia by Lucy Ashe is a stunning debut that immerses you fully in the ballet world and transports you to the newly opened Sadlers Wells, London in 1933.
Lucy trained at the Royal Ballet School for eight years, first as a Junior Associate and then at White Lodge. She has a diploma in dance teaching with the British Ballet Organisation. So with Clara & Olvia, she’s writing about what she knows.
She decided to go to university to read English Literature at St Hugh’s College, Oxford (MA Oxon), while continuing
to dance and perform. She then took a PGCE teaching qualification and became a teacher. She currently teaches English at Harrow School, an all-boys boarding school in North London.
Her 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. She also reviews theatre, in particular ballet, writing for the website Playstosee.com.
SADLER’S WELLS, London, 1933.
I would kill to dance like her.
Sisters Olivia and Clara rehearse with Ninette de Valois at the recently opened Sadler’s Wells.
Disciplined and dedicated, Olivia is the perfect ballerina. But no matter how hard she works, she can never match up to identical twin Clara’s charm.
I would kill to be with her.
As rehearsals intensify for the ballet Coppélia, the girls feel increasingly as if they are being
watched. And as infatuation threatens to become obsession, the fragile perfection of their
lives starts to unravel.
Clara & Olivia was one of those books that we just couldn’t wait to read. Having a huge passion and love for ballet we knew we had to read it as fictional books about ballet are pretty thin on the ground.
As you begin to read you realise it’s more than just a book about two twins who are ballet dancers. It’s a part love letter to ballet, it’s part thriller and mystery and it’s absolutely wonderful piece of fiction. Lucy uses her knowledge and love of ballet to weave and tell a meticulously researched story. It captivates the reader from the first page. Both the twins, Clara and Olivia have distinct personalities which pirouette off the page.
It’s a stunning debut and is likely to remain one of our favourite reads of this year. Lucy Ashe is an author who has us very excited to read more of what she writes.
You can get a copy of Clara & Olivia, here!