An “engrossing depiction of the grit and glamour of the theater.” —Publishers Weekly
A “glimpse of what it’s really like to be on stage.” —Kirkus
"A deftly crafted and consistently compelling read from beginning to end." —Midwest Book Review
Sixteen-year-old Mel expects a dull summer—until she gets the part of Natasha in a student production of Chekhov’s Three Sisters. At the first rehearsal the director predicts, “You’ll begin to feel as though the rest of the world has never existed and does not exist.” And it’s true; suddenly Mel is consumed with rehearsing, running lines backstage, painting sets, and hanging out with the cast and crew.
She grows especially close to Clare, a beautiful set and costume designer who has a complicated past. And then there’s Mike, who plays the dutiful, philosophical Vershinin. His kind smile and quiet presence intrigue Mel, but he never spends time with the other actors, and as the weeks pass, she wonders what he’s hiding.
More and more, her life in the theater is all that matters to Mel. But when she witnesses an intimate encounter between the director and an actress with more ambition than compassion, Mel fears that her new-found world—and the production itself—may fall apart.
Adèle Geras was born in Jerusalem in 1944. As a child she moved frequently and lived all over the world eventually settling in England for boarding school and University. Before becoming a full-time writer, she worked as an actress, singer, and French teacher. She has published more than ninety titles for children and adults including Troy (shortlisted for the Whitbread Book Award and Highly Commended for the Carnegie Medal), Ithaka, and Happy Ever After. She lives in Cambridge, England and has two grown daughters and three grandchildren.