After The Last Dance – Sarra Manning

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I Highly recommend and LOVE this beautiful story of love and friendship.

For me the sign of a book that I truly love is that I own it on both my kindle and have a paper copy for my bookcase – this is one of those books!

I first read this book when it came out as a paperback and loved it, I think I read it in 24 hours. When I saw it was a kindle special offer book one day I couldn’t help but purchase it again. I re-read it recently while I was on holiday and though I may have been sat in the sunshine in Majorca in my mind I was back in England as Sarra Manning’s writing so wonderfully draws you in that you forget all sense of where you are.

The story is told through the two female leads – Rose the teenage runaway who left her home town for the bright lights and the time of her life in Second World War London. And, Jane the runaway with a hidden past who is living on her wits and finds herself married to Rose’s great nephew in modern day London.
Of the two, Rose is my favourite, she has that ‘spunky, can-do’ attitude that just makes you fall in love with her. For me, Jane comes across as brittle and unfeeling at times –  we later find out why but she is less than appealing as Rose, but in the two women you can recognise that they are made of the same stern stuff, they both had trials to overcome and they have made it no matter what anyone may have said about them.

However, the real star of the show is ‘Rainbow Corner’ where Rose ( and I am sure many a teenage girl and American soldier) found adventure, first love, first heartbreak, wonderful friendship and true love during the Second World War.
By the end of this book I was sat sobbing in the sunshine by the pool as I read the ending –“She’s going to stay here for ever. Because Rainbow Corner never closes. They never turn anyone away. When they opened the doors of Rainbow Corner, they threw away the key.”

I don’t think I can emphasis enough how much I love this story and while I do not want to give anything away I do believe that there is something for everyone in this story.

I would also like to praise Sarra Manning’s wonderful research into the Second World War and Rainbow Corner as up until reading this book I had never heard of Rainbow Corner and while I was reading it I thought it was a figment of Sarra’s imagination. That is until I read the historical explanation ‘Someday They’ll Write Stories About This Place’ which is after the Authors Note in the back of the book,  and discovered that Rainbow Corner was a real place! And I was devastated to learn that Rainbow Corner was knocked down in 1959 as I was totally planning on going and finding it next time I am in London. Saying that, I might just still go and find the spot and have a dance anyway…. Its London, I am sure they have seen worse than that 🙂

Happy Reading

Kate

xxx

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