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An Amazon Best Book of the Month, April 2014: “Etonnez-moi (astonish me)!”--was the great ballet impresario Serge Diaghilev’s command to his collaborators and dancers, and it’s just what this insistent, subtle novel did to me. A confession: I may have been the only reviewer who was not blown away by Maggie Shipstead's best-selling debut, Seating Arrangements. So this sophisticated, intelligent novel was an astonishing discovery. On one level, it tells a straightforward story, of a young woman in the 1970s who fought her way into the professional ballet world, helped her Russian dancer/sort-of boyfriend defect, and then left the ballet, married a “civilian” and raised a son who turned out to be ballet-obsessed. But it’s also an insistent and deft look at passion and art, a book about growing up and facing your limits and getting on with life. That it’s set in the dance world--an irresistible venue even for those of us who performed neither toe nor tap--is just the bonus to a novel that already hit the jackpot. --Sara Nelson
The writing is beautiful, the story is nuanced.
The book takes its time moving through the decades, but the ending felt hastily put together, like the author was tired and wanted to wrap things up quickly.
The characters were somewhat flat and not terribly likeable;the plot predictable and repetitive.
Good, though unrealistic at times. This author clearly has done very little ballet in her life - there are some really uninformed statements and scenes in the book. Read morePublished 2 days ago by Mara Dara
I loved this book about the world of ballet! Highly recommended for anyone who'd like to read about complicated relationships, defections from Russia, big egos, and the hard work... Read morePublished 14 days ago by Rachel Edwin
I liked the story and understood the entire world of ballet as I studied it for 15 yrs. The only thing that I disliked was all of the jumping around from chapter to chapter - for... Read morePublished 14 days ago by Nancy B.
I was very disappointed in this book. If I want to read Danielle Steele, I'll buy Danielle Steele. This overwrought, transparent romance novel does not live up to Ms. Read morePublished 29 days ago by KBell
The writing in this book is so humane and rich that it almost does not matter that ballet is its subject. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Modern Muse
I really enjoyed picking up this book and reading it every night before bed. Its plot was complex enough to hold my interest. Very good character development with a few twists. Read morePublished 1 month ago by B. Simpson
As someone who knows the dance world well, I couldn't wait to read this book. It was reviewed in the New York Times and the review, while not stellar, intrigued me. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Tory Miner
I read this in under two hours and I find ballet extremely boring I found it esp boring when I tried to take it as a kid. Read morePublished 1 month ago by simple sellers