Review: Swan Song by Charlotte Wilson

Hi Munchworms!

Swan SongA while ago, Charlotte Wilson herself contacted me to see whether or not I’d be interested in her novel, Swan Song.

You guys might not know this, but when I was a teenager, I actually took dancing classes. No ballet, but still. Then, I discovered this novel is set in London. How could I say no?! I couldn’t.


When iconic ballerina Beatrice Duvall died, a nation mourned – and a legacy was born. Sixteen years later, her daughter Ava comes to London to take part in a high-profile tribute to Beatrice, and to learn about the mother she never knew.

There’s just one snag: the tribute is a ballet, Swan Lake. Which is infinitely painful for Ava, because she can’t dance. Won’t dance. Not since she quit the Royal Ballet School last year and walked away from everything that defined her.

But this is London, colourful and crazy, and with actor Seb at her side, there’s so much to discover. Like Theatreland razzmatazz and rooftop picnics and flamingo parties. And a whole load of truths Ava never knew about her mother – and herself.

When the time comes to take the stage, will Ava step out of the shadow cast by her mother’s pedestal? And who will be waiting for her there, in the bright lights?

A coming-of-age novel about family and first love, in the city of hopes and dreams.

The good

During the first chapter you’re immediately drawn in. The vibe that something’s off, that there’s a secret Ava doesn’t know about is so clear that you just want to find out what it is. It lures you in and even after you discovered what it is, you’re still intrigued.
Intrigued by Ava, intrigued by Seb. I liked both those characters. Although Ava’s struggle with dancing got on my nerves a bit, I did get where she was coming from and that made it alright to handle. As for Seb, he felt so genuine and was really easy to like!

I loved how Wilson painted London so vividly. I’ve been there a couple of times myself and found myself nodding at descriptions, imagining vistas I saw myself at some point. Not to mention giggle at the mention of the stairs at Covent Garden – I actually had to take the 193 steps up once because the elevators didn’t work…

And coming to London was never meant to be about escape: it was about confrontation. Getting over the hurdle of grief. Putting my past behind me once and for all.

The bad

I felt the writing to be a bit too detailed for my liking. A lot of gestures were described, gestures that felt to me like they were distracting from the story and conversations going on.

Not necessarily bad, but a little bit annoying is that this story was extremely predictable to me. I knew what was going to happen, I knew when it was going to happen and it kind of disappointed me that I was right about it all. But in the end, that’s really just personal.

Surely here, where that picture was taken, capturing that moment of love and pride – surely here I’ll feel something of her?


As for the munches, our MC – Ava – is a vegetarian. Honestly, I tried to plan something vegetarian but somehow it didn’t work out… Maybe I should make this another resolution for 2018? Maybe…
Anyway, here’s something vegetarian that actually looks pretty delicious! Drool, people!

Afbeeldingsresultaat voor best vegetarian meal





I received an eCopy of this novel through the author. All opinions are entirely my own. I’m not being compensated in any way.

18 thoughts on “Review: Swan Song by Charlotte Wilson

  1. Great review! Sounds like a fun read, if you’re in the mood for that sort of book.
    And don’t worry, our vegetarian dishes hardly ever look very pretty anyways. Going with that picture you found was probably the safest bet. Mmmmm…now I want avocados.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you!
      This review actually made me add a new resolution for this year – eating one vegetarian dish a week! So we had fresh pasta with a vegetable sauce yesterday – it looked pretty good and I’m kind of slapping myself for not taking a picture. Next time! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Ah, that’s a good resolution! We love vegetarian pasta sauces. In fact, that’s what we had last night. We just used a bottle vegetarian sauce for a base, but added sauteed eggplant (with onion and olive oil) and Navy beans to the sauce.

      Liked by 1 person

    3. If I recall correctly, my boyfriend braised cut up onions, added the carrots he sliced in cubes and after a little while the bell peppers. When all those were softer, he added plenty of tomatoes which pretty much became the sauce without adding anything extra to it. I do believe he ended up adding some tomato paste to make it a bit thicker though. And of course seasoning all you want. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    4. We’ll have to give that a try! My wife just thought that a premade sauce probably would’ve been pretty sweet once the carrots were added–maybe even too sweet. But this sounds really good. We love experimenting with pasta sauces, and carrots will just have to be the next thing we mess with.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Lovely review. I am definitely going to go see if I can get it the next time I go to my bookstore. It seems really good and I am definitely going to recommend my friends this. Have a great day 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.