After seeing a Covent Garden production of Sleeping Beauty by chance on tv one Christmas,13 year old Elaine Higham has a revelation. Suddenly she knows that classical ballet is her future. Absolutely nothing less would do. Starting so late in life Elaine would have to work harder than any of her peers and fight tooth and claw to realise her ambition. Exacting and unforgiving, her new career path would test her to the very limits.
After four intense years at dance school, she wins a coveted place at a top dance academy – hungry and calculating she channels her fierce desire in order to succeed. Modelling herself on the academy’s star pupil – a girl with innate grace, beauty and style – becomes an obsession. An obsession that takes her beyond the bounds of propriety. And as the passionate dancer in her emerges, so awakens the young woman, and suddenly there is so much more at stake.
Written from Elaine’s view-point, Cutting In whisks you away to another world. A world of pointe shoes, of stinging tendons, of pushing nerves, sinews, muscles, bones to the extremes of endurance. But most of all to the world of an unselfconfident yet ferociously driven teenager, single minded about her objective and ruthless in her pursuit of it.
If you’re expecting frilly pink tutus you’ll be disappointed. This is a gutsy book. With her customary skills of observation and perception Felicity Fair Thompson achieves something in this novel that other writers might baulk at – to get inside the head of a complex teenager on the cusp of womanhood, to see the world through her eyes. Peopled with recognisable characters and set in the familiar landscapr of London and Sussex, it is yet the interior world of the novel’s protagonist, achingly vulnerable and scheming by turns and shot through with irresistible darkness, which intrigues.
Well paced and holding the tension like a perfect arabesque, Cutting In will have you guessing right up until the last page. Cutting In is available on Amazon and from www.wightdiamondpress.com
is distributed in the High Weald and South Down
Editor Gill Kaye
THE KID ON SLAPTON BEACH – don’t miss reading this book!
Book Reviews Ingenu/e magazine – Spring edition
Told from the viewpoint of young Harry Beere, The Kid on Slapton Beach opens in the midst of the confusion of a small Devon community faced with the prospect of leaving their homes and the security of their village life just before Christmas.
From the opening lines the tension and upset of their forced exodus is tangible, but the disruption of their departure is overshadowed by a greater tragedy, one that was covered up for fifty years, and one that is gradually revealed, menacingly, unbelievably as the story unfolds.
With the lyrical economy of a poet, Felicity Fair Thompson paints a vivid picture of this rural idyll shattered by conflict; she captures the sense of wartime Britain in a way that feels almost familiar. Her attention to detail indicates an acute observer of human behaviour, fleshing out the key characters and capturing the essence of youth in the idiosyncrasies of boyhood – the eponymous kid a mixture of callow bravado and childlike fragility as he investigates the often challenging encounters with those around him.
A potent combination of war story, rite of passage and the angst of stressful family relationships, set against a factual backdrop – no less extraordinary for being factual – The Kid on Slapton Beach is a captivating read. Work lay untouched, phones went unanswered, meals were late… I couldn’t put it down! The Kid on Slapton Beach is available from bookshops, or direct from www.wightdiamondpress.com and is also available as an e-book from Amazon and Smashwords.
Editor Gill Kaye Ingenu/e is distributed in the High Weald and South Down
Theatre Reviva! Presents
my new one man play
featuring the actor Graham Pountney
He spent his last year alive on the Isle of Wight . Tomorrow morning King Charles I will face the executioner. The Parliamentarians have won. Through his last long night, the King thinks back across the events that led to this end – from his childhood in Scotland, his father’s accession to the English throne, then his own coronation, rebellion in Ireland, quarrels over religion, fighting over the Scots border, the uprisings, and the long Civil War… after his final year imprisoned on the Isle of Wight, Charles considers how many things have happened, and how so much might have been different.
Don’t miss this amazing moment of theatre when the Isle of Wight was centre stage in British history
75 summers ago in the Battle of Britain in World War Two Spitfires and Hurricanes fought German planes over English skies to protect Britain from attack and Nazi domination of our airspace. Day after Day. Sortie after sortie.
In Winston Churchill’s words Never was so much owed to so few.
There will be an event at SANDOWN ZOO on the Isle of Wight this weekend 6th/7th June. Wartime planners knew that following D-Day – June 6, 1944 – Allied forces would need vast quantities of petroleum to continue the advance into Europe. Allied leaders also knew that petroleum tankers trying to reach French ports would be vulnerable to Luftwaffe attacks.
To prevent fuel shortages from stalling the Normandy invasion, a top-secret “Operation PLUTO” – Pipe Line Under The Ocean – became the Allied strategy. It would fuel victory and help change the petroleum industry.
Visit the PLUTO Room at Sandown Zoo, and the D-Day Exhibition at beautiful Shanklin Chine to see just how important the Isle of Wight was to the Allied Invasion.
It rumbled suddenly into Harry’s dream. Something loud and threatening and dangerous. He woke with a start, for a moment surprised to find darkness and soft dry sand around him, the familiar sound of waves swishing on the shore; dragging, draining out, splashing in again, and pebbles skittering around in the foam. It sounded like the sea breathing.
Whatever woke him wasn’t the sea. Through the rock windows he saw nothing except pale, shifting shingle and silver light stretching into the milky moon bay. But far out, blurred by a delicate shroud of sea mist, a throbbing orange glow was spreading out along the dark horizon. Bright bursts of light suddenly illuminated the night sky followed by another low thudding sound.
Out in the bay were dark shapes, ships, and then as first light crept into the sky, flat wide boats were racing in…