Laura Ashley Harper’s The Ashley Harper Collection – A Book Review
Laura Ashley’s The Nixen Tree: A True Story of Modern Vanities features a myriad of vignettes that take place in and around London. The book spans many locations in London, but the story is centered around Central London. It’s about a young woman named Nixen who lives on a sheltered street in inner suburbia. She is an artist, but is also a very private person.
Nixen’s mother, played by Laura Ashley, tries to protect her daughter from what she sees as a dangerous man. In the meantime, Nixen meets and falls in love with a young theater director. While she and the director are happily ever after, things take a turn for the worst when her mother discovers her connection to the man. This woman tells her family and the book begins to take shape. Laura Ashley’s debut novel is a quick read and captivates.
Ashley uses various short vignettes to tell her story. The majority of the book consists of her reciting a story from each scene while explaining how it relates to the main character. Each vignette seems to build up the emotion and the setting for the next, adding to the sense of realism as you follow the progression of the plot. From a literary standpoint, the book is quite dense, yet doesn’t seem overwhelming.
The book isn’t exactly long. With a total of around 223 pages, it fits nicely into a short reading list. For someone looking for something a bit more substantial, they might find themselves needing another read. Overall, this collection is well worth the time given to it.
For those who want a lighter read, Laura Ashley has written many other stories set in Central London. Some of these have been made into motion pictures, while others have been turned into a very successful stage plays. In addition, she has also written several books on the history and culture of Victorian England, which makes this a perfect choice if you are interested in learning about this period of history and how it impacted society today.
Reading Laura Ashley’s The Ashley Harper Collection will leave you with many warm, fuzzy feelings. As a former journalist, she has given us fresh and enticing insights into the lives of those behind the scenes. As a writer, she continues to amaze with her ability to draw complex characters and convey her ideas in a clear and engaging way. The stories in this book will leave you wanting to read more, feeling as though you’ve only scratched the surface of who Laura Ashley really is. For anyone who enjoys dark humor and good stories, this series is sure to be a winner.