Troubador Flesh & Bronze

Released: 28/03/2014

ISBN: 9781783063499

Format: Paperback

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Flesh & Bronze


At the beginning of a long journey in time and fortune, we meet Juliette as a beautiful and wayward prostitute. Her friend Marie has modelled for Degas’s celebrated ‘Petite danseuse de quatorze ans’, and she too starts to model for Degas, eventually becoming his ‘Femme Assise’. Now, as an raddled and homeless old woman, she comes face to face with her beautiful young self, cast in bronze, shining, in the window of bronzecaster Didier's home. Her life, and the lives of everyone in Didier's household, are set to change as she finds a new purpose through her friendship with a little deaf boy and his traumatised mother.

Verdicts on Heavenly Lilies:

Evocative and moving throughout… a wonderful piece of work, which would be loved by intelligent readers.
Sarah Molloy, literary agent.

A mini-miracle… a challenge to growth and healing… A gripping story.
Sheila Bright, editor, Goddess Alive

I was hooked… Trisha Jackson, editor, Pan Macmillan.

Reviews of Flesh & Bronze

A convincing piece of fiction, with a rare sense of tension about it.
Fay Weldon

Meticulously researched, utterly convincing.
Rubery Book Award shortlisting

Memorable characters and a story full of surprise and wonder.
Andrew Rudd, Cheshire Poet Laureate

A feast for the senses, particularly the tactile. Alison Leonard is an alchemist, bringing Degas' sculpture vividly to life in the beautifully imagined Juliette, the loves and miseries of her life so finely balanced. The writing is subtle and supple, full of surprises, not a word out of place. I found it inspiring and heartbreaking.
Dori Miller

Beautifully researched, the ignominy endured by women like Juliette is compellingly told. We are led through Paris in the late 1880s where Juliette is increasingly haunted by the past and Didier's family have their own tragedies with which they have to come to terms. The descriptions of bronze pouring are unforgettable, the Parisian studios and street-life are so lovingly described one can almost smell them and, Juliette's relationship with the deaf Sébastien makes this finally a story full of redemption.
Jeff Phelps, novelist

What an achievement, steered to a triumphant close after so much struggle. The characters live in the mind, and the ending made me sigh with satisfaction. The way Juliette's almost unbearable memories are revealed develops the story like a film. There are so many cinematic moments…
Christine Evans, award-winning poet

Other praise for Alison Leonard’s writing:

Told at a heady pace, with wonderful real absorbing characters.
The Guardian on Tinker’s Career.

A novel for older students of 14-plus, and for any adult lucky enough to find it.
The School Librarian on Kiss the Kremlin Goodbye.

A good thrilling narrative, sensitively told.
The Irish Times on The Mystery of the Rugglesmoor Dinosaur.

Alison's prose dances the light fantastic.
Lavinia Byrne on Telling Our Stories.

This book... may turn you upside down because it does not flinch from entering those areas of experience where customarily only poets, novelists and mystics dare to tread.
Brian Thorne on Telling Our Stories.

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Alison Leonard

Alison Leonard has written fiction, drama and poetry for all age groups, including plays for BBC radio, novels that have been translated into other European languages, plays that have been performed worldwide, and poems that appear in many anthologies.

Alison Leonard

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