Author: Carol M Cram
Publisher: New Arcadia
Type of book: 1808-1810, friendship, theater, family secrets, England, London, Old Price Riots, acting, well-born class vs low born, foundling houses, Mr. Kemble, Mrs. Siddons, daily life, work, calling, fire
Year it was published: 2017
Abandoned at birth, the grandly christened Edward Plantagenet rises from London’s Foundling Hospital to take charge back stage at the Theatre Royal, Covent Garden, only to be blind-sided when he rescues Grace—a young woman escaping an abusive father.
Grace finds an outlet for her passions as a Shakespearean actress, becoming ensnared by intrigues and setbacks that mar the pathway to stardom she craves.
Set against the tumultuous backdrop of the Old Price Riots of 1809, Grace and Ned find common purpose in a quest that threatens to tear both their worlds apart
Main characters include Grace Johnson and Edward "Ned" Plantagenet. Grace is a well-born young woman who lives with an abusive father and a mother who has passed away. Grace was raised on Shakespeare and has desires and hopes of becoming an actress. Ned, on the other hand, was born in a foundling home and although he makes theater his home, he seems to have little to no desire to becoming an actor but instead is happy being behind the scenes. He is shy and often holds himself back from expressing his emotions towards people close to him. There are other characters such as Ned's friend who is also a foundling and who seems to have divided loyalties when Old Price Riots began as well as the duo of brother and sister actors and a crush. Grace's aunt and her son, Percival are also prominent in the story.
Follow one's dreams
The story is written in third person narrative from Grace's and Ned's points of view. Most of the book is a contrast between well-off, low-class and theater-folk, which is fascinating. There is also a bit of mystery involved about Grace's family history and at one point Ned also becomes involved. There are a lot of heartbreaking aspects of the story, and I imagine that many readers will be surprised by them, such as foundling homes, a view of actresses when now it seems that its a very revered and wanted profession, and there will be explanation and discussion of Old Price Riots and how it affected the theater-folk. I also feel that the story is more focused on characters and their lives in 1809 rather than on plot.
AMAZON | BARNES AND NOBLE | INDIEBOUND
About the Author
Carol M. Cram is the author of A Woman of Note (Lake Union Publishing, 2015) and The Towers of Tuscany (Lake Union Publishing 2014). In addition to writing fiction, Carol has enjoyed a great career as an educator, teaching at Capilano University in North Vancouver for over twenty years and authoring forty-plus bestselling textbooks on business communications and software applications for Cengage Learning. She holds an MA in Drama from the University of Toronto and an MBA from Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh, Scotland. Carol is currently focusing as much of her attention as she can spare between walks in the woods on writing historical novels with an arts twist and sharing her Nia practice as a Nia teacher. She and her husband, painter Gregg Simpson, share a life on beautiful Bowen Island near Vancouver, Canada.
For more information, please visit Carol M. Cram’s website. You can also find her on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Goodreads.
When I started to do book tours for HFVBT, Carol M Cram was one of the first authors whose book, Towers of Tuscany I've reviewed on my blog. I found Towers of Tuscany to be charming and not something easily forgotten as well as heartbreaking on so many levels. In The Muse of Fire, Carol M Cram doesn't disappoint either because the theater as well as the politics on the stage and the time period are greatly detailed and the reader learns something new on almost every page. I do imagine that for those who are hoping for an improbable relationship, will be disappointed, but it's far more realistic though. For something of real slice of life it doesn't disappoint, but for readers seeking something more of fantasy, The Muse of Fire will not meet the standards. Oh yes, love the book cover as well.
This is for HFVBT
Blog Tour Schedule
Monday, February 26
Review at Peppermint Ph.D.
Excerpt at What Is That Book About
Tuesday, February 27
Interview at Donna’s Book Blog
Feature at View from the Birdhouse
Thursday, March 1
Review at Teaser Addicts Book Blog
Friday, March 2
Review at A Bookaholic Swede
Feature at A Literary Vacation
Excerpt at Locks, Hooks and Books
Monday, March 5
Review at Svetlana’s Reads and Views
Thursday, March 8
Interview at Passages to the Past
Friday, March 9
Review at Pursuing Stacie
Wednesday, March 14
Review at History From a Woman’s Perspective
Monday, March 19
Review at Books of a Shy Girl
Guest Post at Let Them Read Books
Tuesday, March 20
Review at Clarissa Reads it All
Thursday, March 22
Review at Historical Fiction with Spirit
4 out of 5
(0: Stay away unless a masochist 1: Good for insomnia 2: Horrible but readable; 3: Readable and quickly forgettable, 4: Good, enjoyable 5: Buy it, keep it and never let it go.)