Two women. Two love affairs. One unforgettable story.
Kings Cross station, 1943. Rose arrives in London hoping to swap the drudgery of wartime for romance, glamour and jiving with GIs at Rainbow Corner, the famous dance hall in Piccadilly Circus. As the bombs fall, Rose loses her heart to a pilot but will lose so much more before the war has done its worst.
Las Vegas, present day. A beautiful woman in a wedding dress walks into a seedy bar and asks the first man she sees to marry her. When Leo slips the ring onto Jane’s finger, he has no idea that his new wife will stop at nothing to get what she wants. So when Jane meets Rose, now a formidable older lady, there’s no love lost between them. But with time running out, can Rose and Jane come together to make peace with the tragic secrets that have always haunted their lives? After the Last Dance is an extraordinary story of two women, separated by time but connected by fate, that will make you believe in the redemptive power of unexpected love.
After the Last Dance was a truly marvellous novel. I absolutely adored it. It was one of those books that I tend to buy on a whim, the cover grabbed me and I was looking for something to get lost in, which for me, usually requires some element of historical fiction.
With a dual timeline, I was delighted to find that both of the storylines were equally as engaging. Sometimes I struggle with the present day storyline in dual timeline novels, but in this case I found myself enjoying each character as much as the other while I immersed myself into the world of Rose, Leo and Jane.
Reading Rose’s WWII story was like slipping back through time and some scenes were so vivid I could almost smell the air and hear the music and laughter as she danced around The Rainbow Room. The scene at the close of the war was particularly touching, one in which I almost felt a part of, the writing was so rich and vividly engaging. I must commend Sarra Manning on her creation of Jane, who was such a complex character, yet in the end, proved her worth on more than one occasion. Despite her checkered past and her steadfast belief that she wasn’t worth loving, I found myself championing for her right the way through. And as for Leo, well I found Leo absolutely adorable, even when he was a waster, because there was always this glimmer about him, a sense that he was on the verge of tapping into his own inner greatness. He did not disappoint.
This was the first novel by Sarra Manning that I have read but it will certainly not be the last. She has such a natural way of telling a story and immersing you fully into the setting and lives of her characters. I highly recommend this novel to those who enjoy historical fiction set during the WWII era. You will not be disappointed!