Genre: Fiction
Published: 2 February 2023
Publisher: OneWorld Publications

Clara & Olivia

by Lucy Ashe

“Surely you would like to be immortalised in art, fixed forever in perfection?”

Sadler’s Wells, 1933.

I would kill to dance like her.

Disciplined and dedicated, Olivia is the perfect ballerina. But no matter how hard she works, she can never match identical twin Clara’s charm.

I would kill to be with her.

As rehearsals intensify for the ballet Coppelia, the girls feel increasingly like they are being watched. And, as infatuation turns to obsession, everything begins to unravel.

"Lucy has created a mesmerising atmosphere in her debut novel. This story is one of dreadful, delirious ambition as well as the relentless drive for perfection - both as a woman and a performer - that cannot be sustained. Every violent act is a protest against this paralysing perfection. Beautiful." - Sally Oliver
"A spellbinding thriller, set against a fascinating background and so beautifully written." - Frances Quinn
"Vividly rich and full of depth, CLARA & OLIVIA is a compellingly chilling work by a debut author who makes storytelling look easy. An expertly crafted filmic depiction of gritty twin leads desperate to succeed in these dark streets while harbouring even darker motivations. A novel that entraps you within its web of sinister secrets; I pirouetted from page to page desperate to know what happens. This book has everything and I will be recommending it to everybody." - Ashley Hickson-Lovence
"This book was a joy to read from start to finish. Ashe's writing is razor-sharp with a lyrical edge to it, and there were times when I wished I could write just as well. Rich, mesmerising and compelling, CLARA & OLIVIA heralds the arrival of a bright new voice in literary fiction. This one will have the cash registers ringing." - Awais Khan
"CLARA & OLIVIA dances with historical details, with unease and atmosphere. You can feel the mist of the London canals, hear the ballet shoes touching the stage." - Abigail Dean
"CLARA & OLIVIA - a dark, suspenseful and unsettling story of obsession, perfection and sisterly love." - Natalie Xenos, CultureFly
"A wonderful, eye-opening debut" - The Times
“Ashe’s persuasive behind-the-scenes ballet sections lend heft and authenticity to what could otherwise be mere window dressing, and she transitions her narrative from charming slice of historical fiction to pulse-pounding suspense at an expert pace. It’s a fiercely memorable debut from a writer to watch.” - Publisher's Weekly
"Historical-novel fans as well as those who enjoy a bit of gothic intrigue will appreciate this story." - Barbara Bibel, Booklist Online