Tent of Blue by Rachael Preston

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"A novel that lingers long after the final page."-- Shauna Singh Baldwin, author of What the Body Remembers
Anton is turning 16 this summer of 1952, but his mother's plans are getting in the way of his dreams. For a start, she's sold the Packard to set up a ballet school, the Packard he was planning on learning to drive. And now she's bought a piano and expects him to accompany her classes. But after Anton falls for the girl upstairs and then rescues his neighbour, a WWI flying ace, from a tumble, life seems suddenly rich with possibilities. That Jasmine is years older and worlds away in sophistication, and his war hero is a grumpy old man in a wheelchair being held a virtual prisoner by his daughter, are details Anton at first refuses to dwell on. But when the old man gives him a bicycle, Anton returns the favour by planning a fantastical escape to Salt Spring Island.
Anton's tale is interwoven with his mother's, whose story begins in 1935 when she is fourteen and filled with dreams of dancing like Isadora Duncan. Grotesquely mistreated by her alcoholic mother, Yvonne finds fleeting freedom with a Russian-born dancer but then falls prey to manipulative impresario Harold Crouch. When mother and son escape to Canada, Harold tracks them down. But then his cruelty goes too far and Yvonne finally pushes back. In one reckless moment she takes the liberating step that makes the present possible. Tent of Blue is a story of captivity and escape, of discovering the strength to fight back against the world and seize freedom.

About Rachael Preston

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Published October 21, 2012 by East Point Publishing. 230 pages
Genres: History, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

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