Oscar Wilde said: “I regard the theatre as the greatest of all art forms, the most immediate way in which a human being can share with another the sense of what it is to be a human being.” In “Theatricks” by Eleanor Gwyn-Jones, she demonstrates that in making choices, we can sometimes fail to see what truly exists right before our eyes. Provided we take those few steps back, we might discover that the story unfolding is the truth finally seen.
Gwyn-Jones, much like her lead heroine, Enna Petersen, hails from England but has since relocated to Scranton. In this modern romance novel, Enna shines as a master of theatre, knowing the stage blindfolded as she directs with brilliant ease. Unfortunately, after the show is over and the curtain closes, Enna is back to life outside the black box – one riddled with disarray and indecision.
However, when her American boyfriend Cole proposes, she must make the most difficult decision of all. Enna must choose between staying in England as a well-to-do theatre director while her professional life slowly and surely solidifies, or abandon her dreams and relocate for love with Cole to his place of origin, Scranton. Enna worries what the future might hold with Cole and whether or not her beloved Ashtead Theatre will collapse in her absence.
To add further theatrics to the mix, prior to leaving, Enna meets fellow Englander Will, an actor who advises her not to give up on her dreams of theatre just yet. Unfortunately for Will, Enna chooses to decide with her heart and leaves her homeland for one that is new, exciting, and, above all, indefinite.
“What I didn’t know was my place in the world, where I should be, who I should be with. It’s hard, you know, having to choose between everything you know and have dreamed of doing, and giving it all up for an unknown.”
Once on American soil, Enna grows homesick and desperate. Soon her insecurities get the best of her and she begins to question the choices she has made; particularly, not heeding Will’s advice. However, Enna’s next move proves futile – as choices made out of desperation often yield poor results.
While the conclusion may leave readers on the edge of their seats, Gwyn-Jones fortunately offers us a reprise. She is currently working on the sequel to the work, “Jazz Hands,” which will be released in 2014. Expect more drama, a hopeful rekindling, and Enna finally coming into her own.
‘Theatricks’ by Eleanor Gywn-Jones Rating: W W W W