I stayed up late last night to finish Sadie Jones' fourth novel, Fallout. It's a fantastic read and I know I'm going to be evangelical about it for some time! It's set in the 1970s, chiefly in London, in the world of theatre start-ups. The novel is convincing about this world, where theatres are not the gilded globes seen to the audience in the plush seats, but the day-to-day grind of rehearsals, builders, management and ticket sales. Jones' characters are (nearly all) principled arts-lovers, whose work matters - and this virtuous stance leads to some of the best drama in the novel. I don't want to give too much away so I won't describe too much about the main characters. Suffice it to say, Jones writes so skilfully about her characters' actions, feelings and motivations that the prose is breathtaking at times. She captures particularly well that way in which a mood can sour or a glance can intrigue - tiny moments which have a huge reach in a person's life. It's also a very dense, substantial novel with well-drawn, believable characters around the main four: their parents, other theatre folk, a husband - so that Jones' world is fully and convincingly peopled. If you read Jones' first novel, Outcast, you might remember how very bleak it was (though excellent); this is not as bleak - there are moments of exhilaration and love - but Jones equally doesn't shy away from writing about disappointment, failure, or regret. Sadie Jones was on Women's Hour recently taking about this book and it has also been serialised on Radio 4, and it deserves to do extremely well.