Books: Domestic Fiction Books: Suspense & Thrillers

Dance of the Dolls

I am thrilled to be hosting a spot on the THE DANCE OF THE DOLLS by Lucy Ashe Blog Tour hosted by Rockstar Book Tours.

Check out my post and make sure to enter the giveaway! 

About The Book

Dance of the Dolls book cover


Author: Lucy Ashe

Pub. Date: September 5, 2023

Publisher: Union Square & Co.

Formats: Hardcover, eBook

Pages: 352

Find it: Goodreads or Here

A novel about obsessive love featuring two ballet dancers—identical twin sisters Olivia and Clara Marionetta—with a terrifying climax set in the world of ballet in pre-war London.

The Dance of the Dolls tells the story of identical twin ballerinas rehearsing for Coppélia at the recently opened Sadler’s Wells Theatre. Superficially, even their differences are complementary: Olivia aspires to be the perfect ballerina while Clara is rebellious and independent. Clara takes up a relationship with the bohemian and passionate Nathan, a pianist at the theater. Meanwhile, Olivia is unaware that she has cast a spell on another frequent visitor to Sadler’s Wells: Samuel. He’s a bashful apprentice ballet shoemaker who steals into the building as often as he can to watch her dance. 

But as the sisters rehearse, danger lurks. The story of Coppélia and the dancing doll threatens to become a dark and sinister reality. Olivia becomes jealous of Nathan’s adoration of Clara, while Clara discovers that being adored can feel suffocating. Samuel dreams of being recognized by Olivia and wonders how far he would go to achieve his goal. Nathan, a musical child prodigy, struggles to adapt to adulthood as the lines blur between reality and dark fantasy world . . .

Review for The Dance of the Dolls

I’m not going to lie – if you’ve been around awhile, you know I indeed judge a book by its cover. This cover is exquisitely graceful. It has hints of danger – the black tutu I believe shows mourning. The wind up on the ballerina shadow – which I feel represents manipulation.

Now, let’s get down to the nitty gritty. I love dual points of view (POV) and this one has it from both girls PLUS the male characters! The girls are identical twins in the same ballet company, 1933, London. Though they look alike, their personalities are completely different. The story starts with the horrific ending and we get to work our way through what actually happens. It grabs you by the throat and does little to help you regain composure. There are obviously ballet references throughout the book but I don’t think you need knowledge of it prior to reading.

This story is unbelievably amazing especially considering it’s a debut novel. I can’t wait to see what else the author has in store for us.

About the Author

LUCY ASHE is the author of CLARA & OLIVIA (Magpie, Oneworld publications).

She trained at the Royal Ballet School for eight years, first as a Junior Associate and then at White Lodge. Lucy has a diploma in dance teaching with the British Ballet Organisation.

She studied English Literature at St Hugh’s College, Oxford, while continuing to dance and perform. She then took a PGCE teaching qualification and became an English teacher.

Her poetry and short stories have been published in a number of literary journals and she was shortlisted for the 2020 Impress Prize for New Writers. She also reviews theatre, in particular ballet, writing for the website

Website | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads | Amazon | BookBub

The Author’s Favorite Books

An embarrassing memory from childhood.

At ten years-old, I proudly announced to a group of fellow schoolgirls that my favorite book was Pride and Prejudice. At that point in my life it was definitely not my favorite novel. Although I had read it, I had barely understood it – and I wish now I had been more honest.

My top five books are always changing. But it was these five novels that stayed closest to me, inspiring me and challenging me, when I was writing The Dance of the Dolls.

Fingersmith by Sarah Waters

With surely the greatest twist ever written – and the greatest final sentence – Fingersmith is a rich and compelling historical fiction thriller about a thief and the woman she tries to defraud by becoming her maid. Set in Victorian England, it has double-crossing deceptions, love, sex, betrayal, obsession – everything I love most in a novel.

Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier

An atmospheric novel set on the wild Cornish coast of England, Rebecca is a masterpiece in building tension. Beautifully written with a tight focus on the paranoid fears of the narrator, this is a gothic novel about how the main character’s delusions and insecurities lead to conjuring the beautiful ghost of her husband’s dead wife, Rebecca. 

The Confessions of Frannie Langton by Sara Collins

In this moving, fast-paced historical crime novel, Frannie Langton is a true heroine, a character who has you rooting for her from the very first page. A woman’s fight for justice and the right to be heard is powerfully told in this story about slavery, addiction, love, and freedom.

Atonement by Ian McEwan

I have always loved an unreliable narrator and this novel must surely be the perfect example of how to destabilize the reader’s understanding of right and wrong, truth and deception. Set in the years surrounding the Second World War, this is a novel about the stories to tell ourselves to find atonement for our guilt.

Ballet Shoes by Noel Streatfield

A childhood favorite, I have read Ballet Shoes many times. There is something timeless and magical about the relationship of the three sisters, Pauline, Petrova and Posy Fossil. Perhaps it was my own ballet training at The Royal Ballet School, with all the joys and disappointments that come from life as a performer, that drew me back to this book time and time again.

Dance of the Dolls book tour schedule heading

The Dance of the Dolls Giveaway

1 winner will receive a finished copy of THE DANCE OF THE DOLLS, US Only.

Ends September 12th, midnight EST.


Tour Schedule for Dance of the Dolls

Week One:


Week Two:

9/4/2023Country Mamas With Kids
9/5/2023A Blue Box Full of Books
9/6/2023Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers 

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