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Set the Stage Kindle Edition
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Settings are an artwork for her as she creates these places that feel so real and vivid you wish you could hop in a car or plane to go walk where her characters are to experience what they get to on the pages of her book. I really wanted to attend the Shakespeare Festival by the time I was finished reading this.
Her character work is as good as the places she’s created so they feel like realistic people making the whole picture enjoyable. What Emilie is going through, trying to regain some control in her life, is something most of us have been through so how she has her handling it and how she feels is believable. Arden hasn’t seemed to have learned from her past dating history, something we can all again relate to, so you both want to tell her to stop repeating the same choices but encourage her as well because this time it might actually be worth it.
I liked how their relationship played out and where Walsh took them as individuals and as a potential love interest for the other.
If you’ve read and loved her books before then you’ll feel good about this one too.
Arden is a gardener at the local park, following in her grandad’s footsteps. She has a creative spark but resists adding her own design to the landscaping despite her obvious skills. Lithia Park is the home to the Oregon Shakespeare Festival’s open-air performances, with which she has a love hate relationship; she adores Shakespeare and sees every show, but hates the transient nature of the company – including her parents who left her behind for the bright lights elsewhere.
Every year she has a short relationship with one of the cast or crew, and each year gets hurt when they leave. So when she meets Emilie rehearsing in the Park she is determined to keep her emotional distance.
Emile has recently escaped a domineering relationship where she was constantly second and is resolutely staying single and putting herself and her career first. She sees the season in Oregon as a last chance to establish the career she too easily gave up to follow her heart. So the stage is set but the players determined to resist, always a clear sign they are drawn to each other despite their best intentions.
Karis Walsh write some of the best descriptive settings and scenes out there. Her use of colour, visual narrative and the senses draws us in to the scene and makes it real, to the point you could walk round the park or through the backstage theatre in your mind long after the scene is over.
Her characters are similarly well drawn; rounded, flawed and both have lessons to learn and growing to do. The small supporting cast of established locals and the Shakespeare company are equally well sketched and add to the colour and flavour of the whole.
Well written and edited, Walsh’s romances flow across the page with delightful ease. A mixture of humour and angst, self-doubt and learning, the main characters form a solid friendship and support each other’s professional development, grounding the whole in a sense of reality.
I never miss a new Karis Walsh and she continues to deliver new characters, setting and plots with consistently good stories and charming romance.
The scenes involving Emilie and the wigmaker are hilarious, the relationships between characters make for great reading and the romance is complicated in a realistic way. I got choked up several times by getting caught up in the characters' passions for their work and their outlets for creative expression. Readers familiar with Shakespeare will find the depictions of the Shakespeare festival engaging and the local business names (all derived from Shakespeare's works) amusing. Having read other books by Karis Walsh, I'm glad to see that she writes with equal skill about the topics covered in this book as she has in her other books. It's a great book to spend a weekend with, laughing and getting choked up with emotion along the way. It's also good escapist reading particularly if you like theater and fictional romance where the characters' sexualities are a total non-issue.
Most recent customer reviews
The book started pretty okay; Emilie is trying to reconstruct her life after a breakup.Read more