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We Shall See the Sky Sparkling

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3.75  ·  Rating details ·  24 ratings  ·  20 reviews
Set in London and Russia at the turn of the century, Susana Aikin's debut introduces a vibrant young woman determined to defy convention and shape an extraordinary future.

Like other well-bred young women in Edwardian England, Lily Throop is expected to think of little beyond marriage and motherhood. Passionate about the stage, Lily has very different ambitions. To her fa
...more
Paperback, 416 pages
Published January 29th 2019 by Kensington Publishing Corporation
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3.75  · 
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 ·  24 ratings  ·  20 reviews


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Amy Bruno
Feb 06, 2019 rated it really liked it
In this beautifully written novel, author Susana Aikin takes readers to the theater stages of London and Russia. Based on the story of the author's grandaunt, the fodder of family folklore, We Shall See the Sky Sparkling tells the brave and tragic tale of Lily Alexander Throop.

Lily was an exceptional woman, in my opinion. She defied expectations, societal norms, and her parent's wishes to leave home and become an actress. I can't imagine the courage that it takes to stand up for what you believ
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Jenny Q
Feb 07, 2019 marked it as to-check-out
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Cupcake Book Lady
Lily is a beautiful young woman with dreams so big of being part of the London theater that she is willing to leave behind her beloved family, including an ailing brother, in pursuit.
It's more challenging than she imagined to rise through the ranks from page to understudy to lead actress, but the lead male part has taken an interest in her, in more than one way. He is cunning, clever, and cruel, and though Wade claims he loves her, it is another, kinder, poorer stage hand named Chet that captur
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Jypsy
Jan 24, 2019 marked it as to-read
We Shall See The Sky Sparkling is an interesting piece of historical fiction. Lilly is the black sheep of her family for her acting dreams. She ends up accepting an offer to go to St. Petersburg. Russia in the late 19th and early 20th century was not necessarily a good place to hang around. Unrest between the very rich and the very poor creating a tense environment. Pre Bolshevik revolution mindsets everywhere. Lilly is a character who makes bad decisions repeatedly. She then gets upset about he ...more
Bookworm
I received an excerpt of this book from Netgalley so this review is based only on the first couple of chapters. We Shall See the Sky Sparkling initially appealed to me based on the historical fiction backdrop. The plot starts off quite strong with engaging prose and a compelling dual timeline narrative. The second chapter delves into the development of the protagonist’s character at the turn of the 19th century. It seemed the writing strayed at this juncture into mundane details that didn’t enha ...more
Lusie
Jan 20, 2019 rated it liked it
This book is about Lily who wants to become an actress. It is set in Edwardian England. Not all goes as planned. What I especially liked in this book are the historical details. The pacing is mostly slow, but sometimes picks of for a bit before becoming slow again. I didn't feel connected to Lily. Overall this was an okay read.
Annette
Jun 11, 2018 rated it did not like it
I’m not sure how excerpt works, but based on two chapters I wouldn’t request the whole book as the style of writing seems to be very drawn-out. Very little of significance has happened within those two chapters.
Suzanne Nelson
Jan 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is an enthralling novel with a driven, fiercely independent, and vivacious heroine you’ll remember forever. Drawing from her own family's history and a series of fascinating letters, author Susana Aikin paints a masterful portrait of a young woman whose dream of becoming an actress conflicts with her family’s and society’s expectations. Lily Throop Cable’s passion for life and her determination to overcome social expectations make her instantly likeable and relatable, and her life unfolds i ...more
Patrica Liebe
Jul 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I received an excerpt from NetGalley for an honest review.
From the excerpt of this story that is set in the Edwardian period in England of a young woman called Lily Throop Cable who leaves home against her Father's wishes to be an actress. The first two chapters describe her feelings and her family members reactions to her leaving. From the rest of the descriptions on Goodreads and Amazon it looks like a very interesting book that I would love to read. There have not been many books that have us
...more
Viviane Crystal
Feb 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Lily Throop, despite her father’s vehement disapproval, has a dream to become a famous actress and leaves home to accomplish that plan. Although she has no recommendations or supporting patron, she manages to obtain an apprenticeship or low-paid position as an actress at London’s Imperial Theatre. She meets an actor/mentor, Wade, who truly helps to hone her already special skills but unfortunately she becomes a prisoner to him by way of a contract which she cannot break. That relationship also r ...more
Marzie
Jan 30, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arc-net-galley
3.5 Stars bumped to 4 because I love the story within the story of this book.

We Shall See the Sky Sparkling has its inception in a real life story. In a family history and simple photo, Aikin's idea behind this book struck home for me. I, too, have a beautiful photo of my great-grandaunt, a woman who died a spinster, and relatively young and the lack of information about her story haunted me for years. In Aikin's story, more is known, thanks to her sleuthing, about her great-grandaunt, Lily Alex
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Linda
Dec 26, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: giveaways
We Shall See the Sky Sparkling is a vividly written historical novel about a female protagonist who progresses due to her hard work. Yes, the reader is informed that she was beautiful and talented, and she got her big break through an affair, but she also studied, improved her memorization skills, pushed herself, and learned multiple languages.

The novel begins with an introduction about how the story of Lily Throop was a contentious tale among the Throop descendants, with the men believing her t
...more
Meg - A Bookish Affair
Feb 15, 2019 rated it really liked it
"We Shall See the Sky Sparkling" is the story of Lily, a young woman. Instead of getting married and starting a family, Lily dreams of being on stage. Actresses are very much looked down upon during this time period and Lily confronts the stereotypes of what an actress is (and more so what she will do) at every turn. Her dream career and her love will take her to places she has dreamed of and those that she never could have imagined. This is a great story with a lot of rich detail!

I am always dr
...more
Bethany Swafford
Jan 19, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: kindle
Lily Throop leaves her father's home to pursue her passion for the stage. She apprentices under a passionate actor, but when he betrays her, Lily flees with a theater troop to St. Petersburg. Life is not easier in Russia; in fact, it becomes increasingly dangerous for Lily.

The main thing I enjoyed about this book was the historical detail. The era came to life, and I especially appreciated that Russia was the focus of the last half of the book.

I found it difficult to sympathize with Lily. It fel
...more
Felicity Hughes
Feb 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This story of one woman's attempt to break out of the constraints of a stuffy Victorian childhood by becoming an actress on the London stage gripped me from start to finish. Teetering on the brink of downfall, the spirited heroine rushes headlong from Manchester, to London, to St. Petersburg, to the very edges of Russia, trying yet failing to find a place where she can be both free and live a fulfilling life as an artist.
Susana Aikin is a lyrical writer who sprinkles in enough period detail to
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Melissa Burch
Dec 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Lily in "We Shall See the Sky Sparkling" is an independent woman who faces numerous challenges as an actress in the 1900s. It is so refreshing to have a strong woman overcome difficulties that women continue to face--sexual harassment, finding her voice, and choosing a partner that cherishes her beyond her good looks. This page turner kept me up all night...

The descriptions and settings in St. Petersburg, her travels across Siberia on the Trans-Siberian Railway, and Novosibirsk are stunning. I'
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Kathleen Gray
Jan 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
A swoosh of romantic historical fiction! Lily wants to be an actress, which is totally anathema to her family. She happily joins a troupe with which she travels to Russia. Pre-revolutionary Russia is a wonderful subject all to itself and Aikin does a nice job of describing some of the tensions. Lily's love affair with Sergei is a turning point for her. Vladivostok in this period is a stew of problems, not the least of which is war with Japan. Lily's a good character (and I liked the letters whic ...more
KTC
Jan 02, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: reviews
All families have black sheep in their lines. Those people who flout society's expectations and live life on their own terms. During my genealogical research, I have found several ancestors whom would be classified as black sheep; however, I doubt that any of our kin lived their lives with as much determination and passion as Susana Aikin’s heroine in her novel, We Shall See the Sun Sparkling. ...more
Sam Glasbrenner
Dec 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I won this in a Goodreads giveaway and cannot wait to read it!
Kristen McDermott
My review of this book will appear in Historical Novels Review 87 (February 2019).
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Set in London and Russia at the turn of the century, Susana Aikin’s debut introduces a vibrant young woman determined to defy convention and shape an extraordinary future.

Like other well-bred young women in Edwardian England, Lily Throop is expected to think of little beyond marriage and motherhood. Passionate about the stage, Lily has very different ambitions. To her father’s dismay, she secures
...more
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