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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
Astonish Me! Is the second novel by New York Times Bestselling author Maggie Shipstead. For this novel she mostly focuses on dance; ballet to be more precise. Read morePublished 9 days ago by Writer's Corner
I read Maggie Shipstead's first book, "Seating Arrangements" and it was OK...not terrible...not great...but I decided to try "Astonish Me" and was glad I did. Read morePublished 28 days ago by JudyPov
After reading her other book I should've known better. I guess I bought this book for the same reason that I can't help gawking at the fender-bender that's pulled off to the side... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Sprague Theobald
I thought the plot was fairly predictable. The ending was disappointing as it did not surprise.Published 1 month ago by christine mckenna
Great story with complex and thoughtful characters. It reminded me vaguely of center stage but it also makes me want to see a ballet.Published 1 month ago by Melanie Kwong
Yes, it ended abruptly and the characters were "secretly" alikened to Balanchine and Baryshnikov, but I understood the emotions as a retired ballet dancer. A quick read. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Leigh K
This book came highly recommended, so I was excited to read it. However, I was very disappointed. I didn't like any of the characters or the way the story unfolded, and I had to... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Daisy