Jenna Warren ~ The Moon and Stars
Matthew Capes, struggling with chronic stage fright, has not sung in front of an audience for ten years. A classical tenor with a magnificent voice, he only dares sing late at night on the empty stage of the Moon and Stars theatre.
When Matthew’s old singing partner Angela – who just so happens to be the woman of his dreams – gets back in touch and offers him the chance to perform in a nationwide tour, his low self-esteem and anxiety stand in the way. But Matthew has a plan: he will sing in the shadows while his handsome and charismatic friend Ralph takes to the stage with Angela. What could go wrong?
As well as books, I also review Theatre so any time I get to review a book about theatre I get very excited!
This book was super cute. Possibly a little too saccharine in places, but overall very good. It’s lovely based on The Phantom of the Opera and there are a few subtle hints throughout, but you don’t need to know the story.
The characters provide a variety of personalities common in the theatre world and although Matthew spends most of the story having a pity party, once he meets Lucy he starts to find himself. She was my favourite character and their relationship is fantastic, especially how they meet and the little tiffs they have before becoming friends. I also enjoyed Matthew’s colleagues who provided a lot of humour.
Angela is a bit of a spoilt brat, but her character is true to life – many women rely on the friendship of a man who is in love with them and whilst she wasn’t pleasant, she had her own issues. Her and Ralph’s behaviour shows how selfish they both are, giving no real consideration to Matthew until they’re faced with their own challenges.
At this story’s heart is a group of friends trying to save a theatre. During covid many theatre goers were worried about the future of the West End and this aspect will really resonate with readers. Matthew’s journey was lovely to see and you can’t help but root for him the whole way, even though we don’t want him to end up with Angela!
A lovely hidden gem of a story that tugged on my heartstrings and – surprisingly – made me cry!
Thanks to Fairlight Books for my proof copy. Opinions my own.