Dancing Backwards

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Eileen Atkins reads from Salley Vickers' acclaimed new novel, Dancing Backwards

Violet Hetherington's husband has recently died.

Alone, she decides to take a cruise-ship crossing to visit her old friend, Edwin, in New York.

As she journeys across the Atlantic the quiet Violet begins to blossom - learning to ballroom dance, taking up smoking again, befriending a famously seething theatre critic.

And in her time alone she reminisces about her early adulthood as a student at Cambridge.

It's at Cambridge that she meets Edwin.

Edwin, it soon becomes clear, is someone she's betrayed and someone she's both terrified and desperate to see again.

The story that unfolds about the young Violet holds the secret to that betrayal.

In tonight's episode, Violet and Edwin will finally put their demons to rest.

Written and abridged by Salley Vickers.

Vickers is a critically acclaimed, best-selling novelist whose work includes Mr Golightly's Holiday, Instances of the Number 3, Miss Garnet's Angel and The Other Side of You.

Miss Garnet's Angel and The Other Side of You were both popular Book at Bedtimes.

Last year she dramatised her version of the Oedipus myth, Where Three Roads Meet, for Radio 4's Afternoon Play slot.

Before becoming a full time writer she was a psychoanalyst.

Violet and Edwin finally put their demons to rest.