1960. The world is dancing on the edge of revolution, and nowhere more so than on the Greek island of Hydra, where a circle of poets, painters and musicians live tangled lives, ruled by the writers Charmian Clift and George Johnston, troubled king and queen of bohemia. Forming within this circle is a triangle: its point the magnetic, destructive writer Axel Jensen, his dazzling wife Marianne Ihlen, and a young Canadian poet named Leonard Cohen.
Into their midst arrives teenage Erica, with little more than a bundle of blank notebooks and her grief for her mother. Settling on the periphery of this circle, she watches, entranced and disquieted, as a paradise unravels.
Burning with the heat and light of Greece, A Theatre for Dreamers is a spellbinding novel about utopian dreams and innocence lost – and the wars waged between men and women on the battlegrounds of genius.
An Observer Fiction Highlight 2020
‘Could hardly have come at a better time … Samson recreates one heady summer there (the Greek island of Hydra) with impeccably ripening prose, all thyme-scented hills and cascading bougainvillea’ i paper
‘Beautiful’ DOLLY ALDERTON
‘Delicious’ NIGELLA LAWSON
‘Oh my god, this book! I don’t have words to convey its brilliance’ MARIAN KEYES
‘A glorious novel’ KATE MOSSE
‘If summer was suddenly like a novel, it would be like this one’ ANDREW O’HAGAN
‘The best book I’ve read all year’ JOANNE HARRIS
‘Superb’ THOMAS KENEALLY