From the acclaimed author of 26a, comes a dazzling new novel about the fight to achieve one’s dream, and an unsolved disappearance at the heart of a family.
As a child Lucas assumed that all children who’d lost their parents lived on water. Now a restless young man, and still sharing the West London narrowboat with his sister Denise, he secretly investigates the contents of an old wardrobe, in which he finds relics from the Midnight Ballet, an influential black dance company of the 1960s founded by his Jamaican father, the charismatic Antoney Matheus.
In his search to unravel the legacy of the Midnight Ballet, Lucas hears of hot-house rehearsals in an abandoned Notting Hill church, of artistic battles and personal betrayals, and a whirlwind European tour. Most importantly, Lucas learns about his parents’ passionate and tumultuous relationship and of the events that led to his father’s final disappearance.
Vividly conjuring the world of 1950s Kingston, Jamaica, the Blues parties and early carnivals of Ladbroke Grove, the flower stalls and vinyl riflers of modern-day Portobello Road, and the famous leap and fall of Russian dancer Vaslav Nijinsky, Diana Evans creates a haunting and visceral family mystery about absence and inheritance, the battle between love and creativity, and what drives a young man to take flight…