In the summer of 1968, Ruby Wilde is the toast of Las Vegas. Showgirl of the Year, in her feathers and rhinestones, five-inch heels, and sky-high headdresses, she mesmerises audiences from the Tropicana to the Stardust. Ratpackers and movie stars, gamblers and astronauts vie for her attention and shower her with gifts.
But not so long ago Ruby Wilde was Lily Decker from Kansas: an orphaned girl determined to dance her way out of her troubled past. When she was eight years old, Lily survived the car crash that killed her parents and sister. Raised by an aunt who took too little interest in her and an uncle who took too much, dancing was her solace, and her escape. When a mysterious benefactor pays for her to attend a local dance academy, Lily’s talent becomes her ticket to a new life.
Now, as Ruby Wilde, the ultimate Sin City success story, she discovers that the glare of the spotlight cannot banish the shadows that haunt her. As the years pass and Ruby continues to search for freedom, for love and, most importantly, herself, she must learn the difference between what glitters and what is truly gold.
Reviews of All the Beautiful Girls
‘As you read… you sense a writer immersed in a world that enchants her – every sequin, every sable, every high kick, every audience with Sammy Davis Junior… Lily/Ruby’s plight and her drive for survival are moving and involving, the author’s love for her heroine bright and sincere on every page’ Financial Times
‘The writing is superior’ Sunday Times
‘A vivid backstage portrait, this is a heart-wrenching story of guilt, friendship and personal redemption’ Woman & Home
‘The prose is taut and compelling, with rich period detail that evokes the dazzling artifice of classic Vegas’ Mail on Sunday
‘Superb, light as an ostrich feather escapism’ Daily Mail
‘A gorgeously written novel with the bite of a gin martini, All the Beautiful Girls goes beyond the splashy, gaudy dazzle of Las Vegas in the 60s to reveal the beating heart beneath the glamorous façade of the showgirl with big ambitions. Our protagonist Lily’s grit, determination, and grace as she discovers the heady possibilities and dark perils of the American dream make Elizabeth Church’s second novel unforgettable’ Sara Gruen, NYT best selling author of At the Water’s Edge
‘A brave and powerful novel … With heart-wrenching immediacy and gorgeous prose, author Elizabeth Church examines the often desperate choices women must confront, and the secrets they must protect’ Lauren Belfer, New York Times bestselling author of And After the Fire
‘A riveting novel, at once raw and tender, of a woman’s struggle to heal the wounds of a devastating childhood . . . Elizabeth J. Church makes us feel Ruby Wilde’s pain and root for her to survive. This is a heartbreaking story, passionately told’ Ellen Feldman, author of Next to Love
‘An exquisitely crafted novel of love discovered and friendship found. No one captures the exuberant passions and inner struggles of women like Elizabeth Church’ Martha Hall Kelly, New York Times bestselling author of The Lilac Girls