I’ve been a fan of Sarra Manning since she wrote for J17. Back in the day when I was a teenager I’d go to Paperweight which was a shop that sold lots of overseas magazines. J17 was one of my favourites and I loved Sarra’s articles. Being an angst filled teen I used to love reading her series “Diary of a crush” and sometimes the magazine would include a book of hers.
Fast forward many years and I was thrilled to find “After the last dance” in a bookshop. I had high hopes and was not disappointed! The book is about 2 women – Rose whose story begins in 1943 and Jane who is living in the present. They are linked by Leo, Rose’s great-nephew and Jane’s new husband. When they meet there is zero love lost between the two but then Rose and Jane’s stories unfold and we see the events and circumstances which moulded them into who they became.
I found Rose’s story was my favourite – she was so likable, strong and determined. Loyal and loving – I wanted her to have a happily ever after from the start! She was a young woman growing up during world war 2 and ran away from home to go to London and dance at Rainbow Corner. Her story is both fascinating and heartbreaking.
Jane grew on me after a few chapters and it is clear she is running away from something tragic. She isn’t as likeable as Rose and in the start I was impatient to get back to Rose’s story. However as the story unfolded I warmed up to Jane. The story behind her pain is a mystery for most of the book but readers do find out at the end.
This was an enjoyable read that I couldn’t put down.
One of those books where you think okay, one more page.
Alright just another few.
Maybe just to the end of the chapter…. before you realise it is almost finished!