Rosie Thomas's The Kashmir Shawl was a big hit with many of us, and it was one of my books of the year in 2011, so I'm glad to say that Rosie is back with a new novel, The Illusionists, out later this month.
Billed as "her most ambitious and atmospheric novel to date", the book sees "love, seduction, magic and illusion collide as she takes us on a spellbinding journey through the shadowy world of Victorian London. Set in and around "The Palmyra", a new theatre of varieties, The Illusionists perfectly captures the spirit of Victorian England..."
Beginning in 1870, it's the story of Eliza, an artist's model who meets a showman by the name of Devil Wix, a man whose dream is to run his own theatre company. Wix's right-hand man is Carlo Boldoni, an ill-tempered dwarf with whom he is usually at odds, and then there's Jasper Button, "mild-mannered, a family man at heart, his gift as an artist makes him an unlikely member of the motley crew.
Thrown together by a twist of fate, their lives are inextricably linked: the fortune of one depends on the fortune of the other. As Eliza gets sucked into the seductive and dangerous world her strange companions inhabit, she risks not only her heart, but also her life ..."