THE REVENGE is the story of two ambitious, feuding theatre families at the beginning of the twentieth century.
Mimi Quinn’s life is altered forever when, at the age of thirteen and about to be a kitchen maid, she accidentally meets and joins Jolly Joe’s music hall troupe. Her dark-treacle voice soon wins acclaim, just as the extraordinary beauty of her friend, Betsy, marks her out as a star-to-be.
Then, one night, a terrible accident wrecks Mimi’s ambition and starts a grim family feud that will continue for decades.
On screen, on stage and backstage, the subsequent battles threaten to ruin not only the lives of Mimi and Betsy but also those of their families in this gripping story, which explores the difficulties of forgiveness – and the dangers of revenge. Then, after forty years of trying to destroy each other, something entirely unexpected happens, to these two angry women.
WHAT THEY SAID
‘In this big novel, Conran documents extremely well the fascinating life and times of a young girl who escapes the Liverpool slums via the music hall. Conran skilfully evokes the birth of Hollywood, New York and London theatre life, as well as the terrible fire which gives the book its title. A brilliant three-reeler about revenge’
‘Shirley Conran’s superb feat of storytelling.’
‘Her lovely writing style makes this a satisfying read’
‘This saga of a woman hell-bent on vengeance and the effect it has on future generations is highly readable’
‘Her best yet – a fabulously colourful saga set in the world of music hall and theatre during the early decades of the century’
‘A novel which sweeps the reader up in a richly imagined historical drama set in the first half of our century’
‘Set in the early years of the century and leaping breathlessly between war-torn Britain and Hollywood, makes perfect holiday reading’
Mail on Sunday
‘Truly gripping stuff’
‘If you like historic novels, you’ll love this epic tale’
‘A vivid sweep of a novel, bringing to life a wealth of fascinating period details’
‘Thorough research has borne fruit in a well-paced story with an authentic period feel’