To quote an author who's constantly alluded to in this novel, all the world's a stage; and the show that is the lives of Dora and Nora Chance, dancers, is of the flashy and sensational sort. They're the unacknowledged, unloved illegitimate children of Melchior Hazard, the most famous Shakespearian actor of the 20th century; they're constantly "on the left hand side" of society and the theater. This a very tangled tale of family ties and family love; but played out histrionically, in public, because that's the way the Hazards live. The classical theater, the music hall stage, the movies and television all play their role. Dora tells her funny, bawdy, lively story in reminiscence, in a very memorable style. I found it instantly gripping, and can highly recommend it.