THE LAST DAYS OF LEDA GREY by ESSIE FOX
A bewitching novel about an enigmatic silent film actress, and the volatile love affair that left her a recluse for over half a century – for fans of Sarah Waters and Tracy Chevalier.
The Sunday Times selects Leda Grey as their Historical Book of the Month in October 2016. The review calls the novel “luminous… with a sensuousness to the prose … Leda Grey’s world is utterly beguiling.”
Published November 3rd 2016 by Orion
|Drawn to this book from the absolutely stunning cover and the subject matter, as there are rumours that where we live used to house an old film studio where many silent films were made, and this book turned out to be just as mysterious and stunning as some of the films of that era
This is a beautifully written and atmospheric story of a forgotten actress by the name of Leda Grey. And it is only by chance that the journalist Ed Peters stumbles across her photograph in an antiques shop and is almost instantly under her spell, and becomes obsessed with finding out all about her career and discovering the reason why she has lived in White Cliff house as a recluse for so long.
With the help of a scrapbook that he also is sold by Leda’s brother in the store, he pieces together her story and what exactly happened that turned such a glamorous teenager into such a recluse, unable to trust anybody.
The story really comes alive when he makes it to White Cliff House and gets to meet Leda, although their first meeting is quite strange and she seems to live in her own little world devoid of electricity or much human contact. She is soon eager to share the stories of her life and loves, and how she was transformed into a film star. She has always been wary of cameras and her mantra always seems to be ‘cameras can steal a soul’ and this seems to be proven as the intriguing tale unfolds
This is a story of love, obsessions, deceit, dreams and family and all set in such an eerie setting and over 2 time periods as Leda allows Ed to read her memoirs and transports him back. And while she opens up to him, this also seems to push Ed into facing the past as well.
This is a book that is worthy of all the praise it has been receiving and offers the reader a story and world to be lost in as you turn the pages
I voluntarily reviewed an advance reader copy of this book via NetGalley