About the book
As a child Lucas assumed that all children who'd lost their parents lived on water. Now a restless young man, and still sharing the West London narrowboat with his down-to-earth sister Denise, he secretly investigates the contents of an old wardrobe, in which he finds relics from the Midnight Ballet, an influential dance company of the 1960s founded by his Jamaican father, the charismatic Antoney Matheus.
In his search to unravel the legacy of the Midnight Ballet, Lucas comes into contact with people who were drawn towards Antoney's bright and dangerous star. He hears of hothouse rehearsals in an abandoned Notting Hill church, of artistic battles and personal betrayals, and a whirlwind European tour. Most importantly, Lucas learns about Antoney's passionate and tumultuous relationship with Carla, Lucas's mother, and the events that led to his father's final disappearance.
Vividly conjuring the world of 1950s Kingston, Jamaica, the Blues parties and early carnivals of Ladbroke Grove, the flower stalls and vinyl riflers of modern-day Portobello Road, and the famous leap and fall of Russian dancer Vaslav Nijinsky, Diana Evans creates a haunting and visceral family mystery about absence and inheritance, the battle between love and creativity, and what drives a young man to take flight...