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Astonish Me: A novel (Vintage Contemporaries) by [Shipstead, Maggie]
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Astonish Me: A novel (Vintage Contemporaries) Kindle Edition

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Length: 274 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
Page Flip: Enabled Audible Narration:
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Editorial Reviews Review

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

From Booklist

*Starred Review* Languishing in the corps de ballet of a premier New York company while her lover, internationally renowned dancer Arslan Ruskov, is captivating critics and audiences, Joan becomes pregnant and reunites with her high-school boyfriend, Jacob, now a doctoral student in Chicago. Though they build a life together for themselves and their son, Harry, Joan can never escape the role she played in helping Arslan defect from the Soviet Union. As she makes tentative peace with her new status far away from the footlights as a suburban mom and strip-mall ballet instructor, Joan pins her hopes on salvaging her career relevancy as she guides her neighbor’s daughter, Chloe, to professional status. However, it is Joan’s own son who astounds everyone by becoming the sought-after new prodigy. When he and Chloe cross paths with Arslan, the finely tuned life that Joan and Jacob constructed comes crashing down as long-held secrets are exposed in a particularly brutal way. Readers who reveled in Shipstead’s sardonic comedy-of-manners debut (Seating Arrangements, 2012) will rejoice in the emotionally nuanced tale of barre-crossed lovers and the magnetic, mysterious world of professional dance. A supple, daring, and vivid portrait of desire and betrayal. --Carol Haggas

Product details

  • File Size: 3189 KB
  • Print Length: 274 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0345804619
  • Publisher: Vintage (April 8, 2014)
  • Publication Date: April 8, 2014
  • Sold by: Random House LLC
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Screen Reader: Supported
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #63,788 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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