Set in a beautiful summer in the 1930s, Bea, who has grown up rallying against patriarchal conventions of the time, has been sent to stay with her uncle in Italy, in an attempt from her parents to make her more ‘respectable’ and ‘ladylike’, and thus prepared for marriage. Little do they know that they have instead sent Bea into the heart of a bohemian household, where she will be exposed to, and encouraged to interact with art, romance and self-expression.
“A Much Ado About Nothing retelling, this book will have you glued to your seat as you read it in one sitting. . .I hope you read this book and fall in love with it too.”Farrah (17)
However, Bea’s idyllic bubble is not immune from the influences of fascism and patriotism that were especially prevalent, and gaining traction in the social and political climate of the 1930s.
Bea’s epic summer allows her to further explore her love for science, and provides her with a forum to exist with autonomy, outside of the confines of the patriarchal society she is normally subjected to. She is afforded breathing space, and as the reader, we watch Bea come into her own, and affirm who she is as an individual, rather than what society, and her parents, wish her to be. She experiences a joyful and lively summer romance, which only adds to plot of this wonderful novel, but above all, this book centres around Beatrice’s growth as the hero of her own story, as she learns more about herself and the world she lives in.
A Much Ado About Nothing retelling, this book will have you glued to your seat as you read it in one sitting. Impossible to put down, Under a Dancing Star contained all of my favourite ingredients, from the marvellous character development and strong friendships, to the delicious feasts, vibrant setting, adventurous escapades and even more. Wood vividly describes all of the places Beatrice encounters, making the experience feel tangible, as though you were there alongside her. Having read several of Laura Wood’s novels, this one certainly affirms her place as one of my favourite authors. I hope you read this book and fall in love with it too.