Set against the colourful boho backdrop of London’s Camden in the 1990s, Craig Revel Horwood’s first novel, Dances and Dreams on Diamond Street, tells the story of an unlikely family of friends who each rent a room in a ramshackle six-bedroom, four-storey townhouse. Like any family, the residents of Diamond Street sometimes fights and often act up but when the chips are down, they’re there for each other in an instant – usually brandishing a cheap bottle of booze, and the offer of an impromptu kitchen disco.
Presided over by the wise-cracking but warm-hearted patriarch of the family, Danny Hall, a professional dancer turned choreographer, the novel follows a year in the life of the inhabitants of Diamond Street, rough diamonds one and all, as they try to achieve their dreams – with unexpected, heart-warming and sometimes hilarious results.
This story introduces us to Danny, Lachlan, Jewel, Cat, Pete and Lil, a group of individuals who become friends after each of them rents out a room in the six bedroom town house in London. As they navigate life in the 1990’s, we get to know this eccentric group on a much deeper level.
As the group face their own individual difficulties and struggles in life, alongside love, loss, and their many successes, they certainly don’t always see eye to eye, but if one of them is in need of guidance or support, they are always there for one another, providing the love and friendship they have never received from their own families.
Each of the characters have their own story to share, and their own obstacles in life to overcome. I especially adored how each of them possessed their own unique characteristics, something that really added to the captivating dialogue that the author produced. Despite the light heartedness of this book in general, this book offers so much more than that. The author delves in to some serious topics with a great deal of sensitivity and integrity, making the characters seem all the more realistic and relatable to the reader.
Full of hilarity and heart breaking moments, this book certainly takes you on an emotional journey as we experience the life that these marvellous characters lead. As someone who grew up in the 90’s I thoroughly enjoyed getting to revisit the fashion and music that accompanied that era, and I could certainly picture some of the scenes playing out before me.
The book is written in such a beautiful way, it is impossible to not find yourself falling in love with the characters as the story progresses. Highlighting the importance of friendship, acceptance and following your dreams, this is one of those stories that you fall in love with entirely. This truly is a fab-u-lous read that I will be highly recommending to everyone!.
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About the Author
Craig Revel Horwood is an Australian-British author, ballroom dancer, choreographer, conductor, singer and theatre director in the United Kingdom. He is a patron of the Royal Osteoporosis Society
*Thank you to Kelly at Love Books Tours, Omara Books and Craig Revel Horwood for providing me with a gifted copy of this book in return for my honest review. All thoughts are entirely my own and not influenced in any way.*