London in 1926 has become the focus for a delirious new nightlife . . .
With her unique Dickensian flair, Kate Atkinson brings together a glittering cast of characters in Shrines of Gaiety.
In the clubs of Soho, peers of the realm rub shoulders with starlets, foreign dignitaries with gangsters, and girls sell dances for a shilling a time. The queen of this sparkling world is Nellie Coker, ruthless but also ambitious to advance her six children, including the enigmatic Niven whose character has been forged in the Somme. Success breeds enemies, and Nellie’s empire faces threats, for beneath the dazzle of Soho’s gaiety there is a dark underbelly, a world in which it is very easy to become lost.
‘Atkinson on her finest form. A marvel of plate-spinning narrative knowhow, a peak performance of consummate control.’ Observer
‘As vividly filthy, populous, dangerous as anything described by Dickens, but writing is closer to Thackeray’s . . . Atkinson is a novelist of unrivalled immediacy, authority, and skill.’ Financial Times