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Book Review : The Illusions by Liz Hyder

We’re delighted to be sharing Laura’s thoughts about The Illusions by Liz Hyder.

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  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Manilla Press (22 Jun. 2023)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Hardcover ‏ : ‎ 400 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1786581868
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1786581860

Bristol, 1896. Used to scraping a living as the young assistant to an ageing con artist, Cecily Marsden’s life is turned upside down when her master suddenly dies. Believing herself to blame, could young Cec somehow have powers she little understands?

Meanwhile Eadie Carleton, a pioneering early film-maker, struggles for her talent to be taken seriously in a male-dominated world, and a brilliant young magician, George Perris, begins to see the potential in moving pictures. George believes that if he can harness this new technology, it will revolutionise the world of magic forever – but in order to achieve his dreams, he must first win over Miss Carleton . . .

As a group of illusionists prepare for a grand spectacle, Cec, Eadie and George’s worlds collide. But Cec soon finds herself facing the fight of her life to save the performance from sabotage – and harness the element of real magic held deep within her . . .

THE ILLUSIONS is the captivating new novel from the much-lauded author of THE GIFTS. Inspired by real-life illusionists and early film pioneers, this astonishing story of women and talent, magic and power, sweeps you into a world where anything is possible and nothing is quite as it seems . . .

Book Review

Another wonderful read by Liz Hyder. I fell in love with The Gifts last year and was excited to read her next book.

The Illusions is a story about two young women whose lives become entwined with magic and the new creation of film-making in Victorian Britain.

Con artist Cecily Marsdens finds herself without a master and wracked with guilt ends up in a worse position. Whilst Eadie Carleton works incredibly hard in a male-dominated society to continue her late fathers dream of film-making.

Eadie meets magician George Perris who becomes entranced by the magic of film and the thrilling elements it could bring to his craft. I loved the narrations of these two characters and could feel the thrilling atmosphere as they discovered the new opportunities of film-making. I loved his excitement and her determination.

With vividly drawn characters and set in this fascinating era, I found this story captivating and fabulous storytelling.

A beautiful book.

About the Author

Liz Hyder grew up in London and was a member of the National Youth Theatre for four years before studying Drama at Bristol University. She worked at the BBC’s publicity department for six years on everything from EastEnders, Holby City and Casualty to Radio 4 before going freelance. Since then, she’s been the Film Programme Co-Ordinator at Hay Festival and worked on numerous PR campaigns for books, theatre, festivals and events. She runs creative writing workshops for all ages and is on the board of Wales Arts Review. She lives in the medieval market town of Ludlow in South Shropshire, surrounded by books and plants. She is an aspiring gardener, an amateur naturalist and a keen walker of hills. Follow Liz on Twitter / IG: @londonbessie

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