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We Shall See the Sky Sparkling

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3.64  ·  Rating details ·  94 ratings  ·  44 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
...more
Paperback, 375 pages
Published January 29th 2019 by Kensington Publishing Corporation
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Average rating 3.64  · 
Rating details
 ·  94 ratings  ·  44 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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Annette
Jun 11, 2018 rated it liked 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.
Jenny Q
Feb 07, 2019 marked it as to-check-out
Guest Post + Giveaway @ Let Them Read Books! ...more
Tocotin
Why yes, I bought this book because of the cover. And theatre. And Russia. (I’m always happy to see more of Eastern and Central Europe in English-language fiction.)

Lily, the heroine, annoyed me right away. She was much too modern, all-tolerant, above all prejudices etc.:

"a part of her dreamed she could have stayed with the Buryat, loved with them in their yurts in the wilderness, cooked for them, helped them skin their catch; away from civilization, far from prejudices and twisted judgments, fro
...more
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
...more
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
Elisabeth Comet Readings
Feb 25, 2019 rated it really liked it
I’m so excited to share my opinion about this well-written story, which kept me reading until far past my bedtime. In her debut novel, Susana Aikin really shows her talent in captivating the reader’s attention from the very beginning.

I was really fascinated by Lily Throop’s story, not only for her being such a strong female character in an era where women weren’t supposed to follow their dreams if those included independence and artistic ambitions, but especially for Susan’s beautiful and descri
...more
Candace N
Mar 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
We Shall See the Sky Sparkling is a debut novel?? Susana Aikin writes like she was born to it. I’ve never used the word masterpiece in ANY of my reviews before, but this story is a work of art. I felt like I was watching a historical period drama unfold right before my eyes. It was an intricately woven story that completely came to life. There are many elements and situations in this story that completely captured my attention.

There is also an abundance of very dynamic characters who change and
...more
Kris - My Novelesque Life
DNF@ 25%
2019; Dreamscape Media/Kensington Publishing

LOVE this cover, and yes, I did request this book just based on the cover. There wasn't much information on the synopsis, but it looked like a historical mystery, historical romance or plain historical fiction. I am fan of all three so thought I could not go wrong. At first I tried the eBook and didn't make much progress, and decided to try the audiobook version. I hung in there for 25% but NOTHING was happening. I cannot even say what genre th
...more
Fin Gray
Sep 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A sparkling tale of courage and idividuality

The cover belies the story somewhat for me, although it provides an evocative insight into the protagonist, it misleads slightly into making one think it will be softer, more romantic tale than it is. This is an epic tale of courage and defiance but is not an epic task to read or enjoy. Susana Aikin’s ability to paint vivid pictures of place and circumstance shines through here and every scene became a vibrant reality in my head.
Much of the narrative
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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.
Brandy Painter
Feb 15, 2020 marked it as set-aside
Wow. This is a fascinating concept that was so poorly executed. It's like family history fanfic complete with terrible sexual assault scene. My life is too short for this.
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
...more
Steve Lindahl
Nov 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Susana Aikin’s novel, We Shall See the Sky Sparkling, starts out as a story of Lilly, a young woman born in 1880, who chose to leave her family in Manchester, England, to take her chances as an actress in the London theater scene. She was seventeen when she left home and she did NOT have her father’s approval.

The book takes a major turn when Lilly decides to leave England for an opportunity in St. Petersburg. She had achieved major professional success in London, but her personal life was in tur
...more
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
Melody (OhTheBooksSheWillRead) Hawkins
Mar 02, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: own
We Shall See The Sky Sparkling is a sweeping historical fiction romance novel and I am happy I was here for it.

Lily Throop is a young woman ahead of her time in that she wants it all and is not willing to settle. She dreams of becoming a famous stage actress. She turns down the marriage her father has planned for her to a local gentleman for whom she has no feelings and sets off for London to pursue her dream.

Lily is a theatre sensation! But her success is not without thorns. Namely the lechero
...more
Shawnee Hayward
Dec 17, 2019 rated it liked it
An adequate English drama tale debut by about an adventurous actress seeking freedom to be herself in the staid European limits of the later 1800s.

The views into turmoiled Russia of the time are interesting from a historical perspective. We spend a lot of time there, but it was a tragedy in the making. No one should make major life decisions in the wake of a tragedy, but our MC has every reason to want to leave England.

If you're looking for early feminist flairs, you may find some here, but you
...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
...more
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'
...more
Shomeret
It's unusual for me to get through an entire book when I don't like the plot. I would have abandoned this book unfinished if I didn't feel that I ought to review Goodreads Giveaway wins. I don't really have much good news here. The title seems wildly inappropriate. I found this to be a dark novel. The woman protagonist deals with being victimized for most of the story line. I like the fact that she is an actress, but there's a long period when she is unable to practice her profession. I would sa ...more
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
Laura Anne
4.5 stars but I rounded up because this book kept me busy.
I started it in the paperback version but after getting about half way through I had to return it to the library, so I got the audiobook and... started it all over again.
I’m really on a books about Russia kick lately.
Only reason for the 1/2 star deduction is Lily was so annoying in the beginning of the book, and occasionally later. That said this novel took me on an emotional rollercoaster ride.
Maryann DeLeo
Mar 23, 2019 rated it really liked it
This is a great read, amazing attention to detail, beautiful descriptions of everything, makes you feel you have been taken to another world. I fell in love with the characters ! all of them.
Lily is brave, daring, smart and romantic. She makes you believe she can do anything she sets her mind to. Miss Aikin is a wonderful writer !

Linda Frances
Sep 24, 2019 rated it it was ok
I probably would have loved this book when I was a teenager, but that was a long time ago, and I've long since lost my taste for melodramatic romances.

This was supposed to be set in the early 20th century, but the heroine has 21st century morals and values. The descriptions of pre-revolutionary Russia are nice, but there are historical inaccuracies. Worst of all, to me, there is no subtlety.
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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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