It is their first day at Drama Arts, and the nervous students huddled in a circle are told in uncertain terms that here, unlike at any other drama school, they will be taught to Act. To Be. To exist in their own world on the stage. But outside is the real world-a pitiless, alluring place in which each of them in their most fervent dreams hopes to flourish and excel.Nell, insecure and dumpy, wonders if she will ever be cast as anything other than the maid. She'll never compete, she kws, with the multitude of confident, long-legged beauties thronging the profession- most tably Charlie, whose effortless ascendance is thing less than she expects. Meanwhile, Dan, ambitious and serious, has his sights fixed on the role of Hamlet, as well as on fiery, rebellious Jemma.Over the following decade, these young actors grapple with haphazard tours, illogical auditions, ubtainable agents, deluxe trailers, rocky relationships, and red-carpet premieres. This dazzling new vel from Esther Freud uncovers a world of ruthless ambition, uncertain alliances, and the many-sided holy grail of Success.Praise for Summer at Gaglow (A New York Times Notable Book): A shrewd and absorbing vel, a near-seamless meshing of family feeling, history and imagination. - New York Times Praise for Love Falls Nobody else can write this well about the bravery and the sad wisdom of children. In a culture which dins with brashness and self-advertisement, attending to Esther Freud's still, truthful voice becomes t only a pleasure but a necessity. -Jonathan Coe
Esther Freud was born in London in 1963. She trained as an actress before writing her first novel, Hideous Kinky, which was shortlisted for the John Llewellyn Rhys Prize and made into a feature film starring Kate Winslet. Her other novels include The Sea House, Summer at Gaglow, The Wild, Peerless Flats, and most recently, Love Falls. Her books have been translated into thirteen languages.