Shrines of Gaiety by Kate Atkinson
The prolific Kate Atkinson returns with the story of Nellie Coker, notorious queen of London’s nightlife in 1926. Loosely based on a real person named Kate Meyrick, Coker is as comfortable among the British aristocracy as she is among street hustlers, but her empire of “businesses” is under threat from all sides. As always, Atkinson’s writing is clever and slyly funny. Her ability to move comfortably across a variety of class and social boundaries calls to mind the best of Charles Dickens. The novel is a great gift for readers of historical fiction and a must for Atkinson fans.