I loved Echo After Echo — it’s an original mix: a little bit love story, a little bit of a “finding oneself” story, and a little bit murder mystery — all set in a New York theater. Check all the details below, including my review of Echo After Echo
by Amy Rose Capetta
Published on October 10, 2017 by Candlewick
Source: eARC for review
Synopsis from Goodreads: Debuting on the New York stage, Zara is unprepared—for Eli, the girl who makes the world glow; for Leopold, the director who wants perfection; and for death in the theater. Zara Evans has come to the Aurelia Theater, home to the visionary director Leopold Henneman, to play her dream role in Echo and Ariston, the Greek tragedy that taught her everything she knows about love. When the director asks Zara to promise that she will have no outside commitments, no distractions, it’s easy to say yes. But it’s hard not to be distracted when there’s a death at the theater—and then another—especially when Zara doesn’t know if they’re accidents, or murder, or a curse that always comes in threes. It’s hard not to be distracted when assistant lighting director Eli Vasquez, a girl made of tattoos and abrupt laughs and every form of light, looks at Zara. It’s hard not to fall in love…
Review: Echo After Echo
Even though I’ve never been onstage in my life, I love stories set in the theater, which is why I requested this, and I’m so glad I did.
Echo After Echo is not really a murder mystery, or a romance, or a coming of age story, but a little bit of all of those. Zara is an inexperienced young actress who is shocked when legendary director Leopold Henneman offers her the lead role in his new play based on the myth of Echo.
Zara packs up and moves to New York for rehearsals, where she is faced with a bunch of stuff: the jealousy of some of the rest of the cast, Henneman’s moodiness, her magnetic male co-star, mysterious death in the production, rumors of a curse in the theater.
I thought that one of the themes of Echo After Echo was the roles we play in life (and love!) — do we go thought the motions and do what’s expected of us or do we go off-script and forge our own path? When Zara falls for a girl who’s working as the assistant lighting director, she’s faced with a choice. The expedient thing to do would be to agree to a fauxmance with her hunky male co-star, but she finds it hard to turn her back on a relationship that could be something real.
She also has to decide how to handle the director, who turns out to be a bit creepier and more controlling than she expected. Let’s just say … shades of Harvey Weinstein. This book is very topical on matters of sexual harassment in the entertainment industry and does a great job of showing the real emotional toll that women in that industry face.
The murder mystery aspect of the book was interesting — people associated with the show are mysteriously dying, and some people suggest the theater is cursed. I’m not giving up any spoilers on that, but the resolution was far more interesting and resonant than I expected.
I thought Echo After Echo was a beautifully-written book that wasn’t quite like anything I’d read before. If you like theater-themed books, are looking for a great f/f romance, and love books that are a little out-of-the-box in terms of genre, definitely give this a try!