Unwrap ALU Day Seven: British Invasion

December 13, 2016

Today's #unwrapALU picks are Canadian takes on merrye olde Englande: the stagehands of London's New Albion theatre (and all of their drama-related drama) in Dwayne Brenna's  New Albion (Coteau Books), and the Austen-worthy regency novel  Mary Green, by Melanie Kerr (Stonehouse Publishing).

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Everyone has one – that tricky booklover on your list for whom you're stymied on what to buy. Fret no longer: we've rounded up twenty books for hyper-specific people. Check our recommendations, and buy on. BONUS: get a set of our  holiday gift cards FREE when you buy any of our featured books.

 

Book 13:  New Albion
by Dwayne Brenna (Coteau Books)

 

 

New Albion follows the lives of the employees of the New Albion theatre in London, England, in 1850, through the journal entries of the stage manager, Emlyn Phillips. The theatre is fighting its own reputation, and hindered by its location and "sketchy" (at best) audience. More still: a police commissioner who demands "morally upstanding" plays, and a playwright so decrepit and addicted to laudanum that the actors of the New Albion are never sure what to expect. Nonetheless, the troupe attempts to put on the best show possible, each and every night. The reader is introduced to the entire company of actors, all of whom have their own set of issues, who consistently band together as a community and family in the face of every obstacle – and there are more than a few of those. As the theatre encounters problem after problem, Phillips must decide how much he’s willing to sacrifice for the sake of his passion.

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Book 14:  Mary Green
by Melanie Kerr (Stonehouse Publishing)

 

 

 

This is a regency novel in the same period appropriate language as Jane Austen’s five popular novels, so anyone who is a fan of Jane Austen should be able to sink right into this modern day classic. It is a rags-to-riches tale "combin[ing] Anne Shirley's naïveté with Emma Woodhouse's strength of mind in a debut historical novel filled with the magic and romance of Cinderella" (Publisher's Weekly). Orphaned ward Mary receives a massive inheritance and sets off for life and adventure in London to find herself – though, true-to-period, she's got to do so with a quippy chaperone, among a large cast of secondary characters that make this story sparkle with life.

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There are just three days left of our #unwrapALU picks: will we find the right book for your giftee? (Short answer, YES). Remember: buy either (or both) of these recommendations, or any of the others we've featured, and receive a set of our  holiday gift cards FREE to go along with your perfect present.


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