Thursday, November 30, 2017

You've Got a Friend: "Prelude: Allegro" by J.M. Smith

J.M. Smith is the author of one of my very favorite Phantom books, The Secret Door, so the Recommender was thrilled and excited to get a brand new book by J.M.
Prelude: Allegro takes us back to the beginning of a story that we get glimpses of in the Gerard Butler version of the musical, that of how Erik and Madame Giry became acquainted.
Annie Laramie is a 12 year old girl living in bondage to a cruel step-father. One night she sneaks out and makes her way to the Gypsy fair where she pays her way into the tent housing The Devil's Child who, it turns out, is a boy not much older than her, who is caged and  treated cruelly by the gypsies exhibiting him for a facial deformity that makes women faint or scream and brings in the cash for the Gypsies. Annie is shocked by this mistreatment and astonished that this boy possesses the singing voice of an angel.
Returning to the fair she sets out to befriend him. Suspicious of anyone, this tall, thin boy, has never known friendship or affection and is distrustful of Annie's motives. What follows is the touching and gradual relationship and true friendship that blossoms between them. How these two escape from their circumstances to lead a life that we know will eventually bring them to the Paris Opera House is a story you will want to follow as it is beautifully imagined and the first chapter in a new series I will be looking forward to.
Not Andrew Lloyd Webber, but this James Taylor classic perfectly illustrates the relationship of Erik and Annie in this story (to me, anyway!)! Thank you, Youtube!


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