For theatre fans

Adèle Geras gave me this book, saying how much she dislikes the cover. It’s the US edition of her Happy Endings, and I’m going to disagree with her. I think the cover works fine. It always feels a bit funny to read American spellings in what’s an English story, but apart from that, this is a nice behind the scenes tale of amateur theatre from the 1980s. With so many writers harking back to a period, it’s good to get the real deal, as it were. Not a mobile phone in sight.

Happy Endings

I’d imagine it was fun doing the research for this book, and Adèle offers thanks to a number of theatre people. I’d have loved hanging out, seeing what it’s like before the audience sees a play.

Happy Endings is about Mel, who is 16, during the summer holidays when she gets a part in Chekhov’s Three Sisters, along a with a group of other young people. Lots of goings-on in the personal relationships department, and Mel, being a nice girl, tries to hand out advice to some of her new friends. And there’s love for her, too.

I have to confess to not knowing Chekhov’s play at all, so some of the finer details were probably lost on me. I sense that Adèle has done some fine knitting with the plot of the Three Sisters and the set up with the amateur actors.

Being a sucker for happy endings, I approve of the title of this book. And we learn that there are different kinds of happy endings.

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