Nan King, an oyster girl, is captivated by the music hall phenomenon Kitty Butler, a male impersonator extraordinaire treading the boards in Canterbury. Through a friend at the box office, Nan manages to visit all her shows and finally meet her heroine. Soon after, she becomes Kitty's dresser and the two head for the bright lights of Leicester Square where they begin a glittering career as music-hall stars in an all-singing and dancing double act. At the same time, behind closed doors, they admit their attraction to each other and their affair begins.
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by Sarah Waters
by Santa Montefiore
by Linda Mitchelmore
by Sarah Harte
by David Hewson
by Rosie Goodwin
by Rowan Coleman
by Amanda James
by Tessa Hadley
"From the moment Nancy Astley sees Kitty Butler, male impersonator, on the music hall stage, her life is changed forever. She moves from happiness to heartbreak, from street pickups for survival to becoming a "boy toy" for a wealthy, sadistic Sapphist to true love. More than "adult literature" or a "lesbian picaresque," the story chronicles a young woman's coming of age -- admittedly, with a twist. Exceptional writing by Sarah Waters and a breathtaking performance by Juanita McMahon provide a rare view of London's demimonde. McMahon's throaty voice and wide variety of authentic accents bring Victorian-era sexuality, lush in its erotic detail, to life. Her narrative power is especially impressive in the Socialist call-to-action speech Nancy makes toward the book's finale. Nancy's story is well written, entertaining, and artfully performed. S.J.H. (c) AudioFile 2003, Portland, Maine"
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