Saturday, February 18, 2023

What is Alyssa Wees reading?

Featured at Writers Read: Alyssa Wees, author of Nocturne: A Novel.

Here entry begins:
The thing that first drew me to Strega by Johanne Lykke Holm was the title, which means “witch” in Italian. It’s about a nineteen-year-old girl who goes to work as a maid in a hotel where there are no guests day after day. But after a large and glamorous party is held there one night, a girl goes missing and nothing will be the same. This is a short book, but it’s as sharp as a blade, dripping with a haunting, oppressive atmosphere and characters that purposefully blend together into one voice, one piercing cry against the boundaries and expectations of womanhood. It’s surreal and labyrinthe, a ghost story though there isn’t...[read on]
About Nocturne, from the publisher:
In this haunting, evocative fantasy set in 1930s Chicago, a talented ballerina finds herself torn between her dreams and her desires when she’s pursued by a secretive patron who may be more than he seems.

Growing up in Chicago’s Little Sicily in the years following the Great War, Grace Dragotta has always wanted to be a ballerina, ever since she first peered through the windows of the Near North Ballet company. So when Grace is orphaned, she chooses the ballet as her home, imagining herself forever ensconced in a transcendent world of light and beauty so different from her poor, immigrant upbringing.

Years later, with the Great Depression in full swing, Grace has become the company’s new prima ballerina—though achieving her long-held dream is not the triumph she once envisioned. Time and familiarity have tarnished that shining vision, and her new position means the loss of her best friend in the world. Then she attracts the attention of the enigmatic Master La Rosa as her personal patron and realizes the world is not as small or constricted as she had come to fear.

Who is her mysterious patron, and what does he want from her? As Grace begins to unlock the Master’s secrets, she discovers that there is beauty in darkness as well as light, finds that true friendship cannot be broken by time or distance, and realizes there may be another way entirely to achieve the transcendence she has always sought.
Visit Alyssa Wees's website.

My Book, The Movie: The Waking Forest.

The Page 69 Test: The Waking Forest.

Writers Read: Alyssa Wees.

--Marshal Zeringue