Olivia Curtis wakes to her seventeenth birthday and her presents: a roll of flame-coloured silk for her first evening dress, a diary for her innermost thoughts, a china ornament, and a ten shilling note. Safe within the bosom of a family at once lovingly familiar yet curiously remote, she stands poised on the brink of womanhood, anticipating her first dance with tremulous uncertainty and excitement - the greatest, yet most terrifying, event in her restricted social life.
For her pretty, poised elder sister, Kate, the dance will be a triumph, but for Olivia, shy and awkward, what will it be?
Exceptional writing and narration!
I'm a 60 year old man but I loved this story of a 17 year old girl's first formal dance. Joanna Lumley's narration is perfect: not one nuance or character voicing would I change. I only regret that she has so few other audiobooks available. And Lehmann's writing is continuously interesting and unexpected. She has a sharp eye for both appearances and mannerisms, and we meet quite a diverse cast of characters in the course of the book. There are moments of Virginia Woolf and moments of P. G. Wodehouse, moments of Dickens and moments of Joyce. One of the most satisfying listens of the year so far.