I was given an ecopy of Not From the Stars by Christina Britton Conroy for review.
Not From the Stars is the first book in the His Majesty's Theatre series. Set around an Edwardian England theatre (British spelling), hence HIS Majesty's Theatre, we have several interweaving stories of people trying to improve their lot in life. It is at times heartwarming, heartbreaking, humourous (British spelling, okay I'll stop) and frustrating. At first I was a bit concerned because it starts with the life of a gay actor. The gay character didn't bother me so much but I don't really want to spend a whole book on the life style. If that makes me insensitive, oh well. But that did not become an issue as that was just part of the setup for the greater story.
Warning: There are somewhat graphic scenes of sexuality (not the gay variety, in case you were wondering), and (for me very difficult to read) violence against women.
There are several well developed characters whose stories captivate the reader. All their lives become involved in some manner with the theater. As a first installment, Not From the Stars is great. It gives us characters to root for and others to root against. The ending is not the dreaded cliffhanger because we know where it's going, but we do have to wait to read the next book to continue. I really like how this is handled, enough of a tease to keep the reader interested, but not so much that it leaves us with an unsatisfied feeling. The more I read of this book, the more I liked it. No slow passages. The author keeps the story moving along brilliantly.
Not From the Stars does a nice job of conveying the societal norms of the time which for me added a touch of humor that I found refreshing. A fairly quick, light read. Good escapist fun. Spend some time in Edwardian England and check out Not From the Stars by Christina Britton Conroy. I look forward to continuing this series. Enjoy!