In this haunting, evocative fantasy set in 1930s Chicago, a talented ballerina finds herself torn between her dreams and her desires when she’s pursued by a secretive patron who may be more than he seems.
“An enchanting and lyrical fever dream bursting with dazzling prose and dark romance, Nocturne enthralled me.”
—Erin A. Craig, New York Times bestselling author of House of Salt and Sorrows
Growing up in Chicago’s Little Sicily in the years following the Great War, Grace Dragotta has always wanted to be a ballerina, ever since she first peered through the windows of the Near North Ballet company. So when Grace is orphaned, she chooses the ballet as her home, imagining herself forever ensconced in a transcendent world of light and beauty so different from her poor, immigrant upbringing.
Years later, with the Great Depression in full swing, Grace has become the company’s new prima ballerina—though achieving her long-held dream is not the triumph she once envisioned. Time and familiarity have tarnished that shining vision, and her new position means the loss of her best friend in the world. Then she attracts the attention of the enigmatic Master La Rosa as her personal patron and realizes the world is not as small or constricted as she had come to fear.
Who is her mysterious patron, and what does he want from her? As Grace begins to unlock the Master’s secrets, she discovers that there is beauty in darkness as well as light, finds that true friendship cannot be broken by time or distance, and realizes there may be another way entirely to achieve the transcendence she has always sought.
“An utterly unique, lyrical play on the Persephone and Hades myth for fans of Neil Gaiman or Madeline Miller. The beautiful language used creates an atmosphere of darkness, grace, and foreboding that sets up a haunted and mythical story.”
Booklist, Starred review
“A beautiful nightmare and a fairy tale all at once . . . Wees’s lyrical prose swept me away in this unique story about the battle between love and despair. Nocturne is not to be missed.”
Evelyn Skye, New York Times bestselling author of The Crown’s Game
"An enchanting and lyrical fever dream bursting with dazzling prose and dark romance, Nocturne enthralled me."
Erin A. Craig, New York Times bestselling author of House of Salt and Sorrows
“Richly imagined and heartbreakingly told, Nocturne is a lush gothic romance that will dance you dizzy.”
Hannah Whitten, New York Times bestselling author of For the Wolf
“No one writes the way Alyssa Wees does, and Nocturne is her latest masterpiece. Like the ballet pulsing at its core, the story is both sinuous and quick on its feet, leading the reader through a labyrinth of emotions that range from the brightest passion to the darkest grief. A powerful, haunting read.”
Joan He, New York Times bestselling author of Strike the Zither