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The Pas de Deux: A Classical Ballet Romance Kindle Edition
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Chapter headings infused with ballet terminology set the stage for each event that unfolds, imbibing the story with ballet culture as it uses the structure of a classical ballet grand pas de deux to trace the evolution of a fiery onstage love affair which leads the ballet director, Mr. D., to separate his head ballerina from her romantic partner.
Invigorated by her newfound passion, Peri dances like never before. But how long can she maintain her new ability before everything comes crashing down around her? As young Mark faces his own demons, from a drunken father who thinks his ballet dancing equates to him being a homosexual to a possessive ballet company director, he faces the ultimate heartbreak from the very one he trusts, who has an ulterior motive for letting him go.
As dancing challenges, raw emotions, separations and reunifications, and transformations ensue, everything changes. Erin Bomboy's uncanny ability to capture all the subtle nuances of everyone involved in a ballet company production creates a powerful story that captures not only love's trials and errors, but a fading ballet company's road to a comeback.
Readers with a special affinity for the world of dance will relish this powerful saga that blends insights on history, love, choreography, and the climatic buildup of the grand pas de deux as it plays out on stage and in hearts against a wider backdrop of social and political change.
Midwest Book Review
- File Size : 7727 KB
- Publication Date : February 11, 2018
- Word Wise : Enabled
- ASIN : B0794W2J5N
- Print Length : 236 pages
- Publisher : Curtain Call Press; 1st Edition (February 11, 2018)
- Language: : English
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Simultaneous Device Usage : Unlimited
- X-Ray : Not Enabled
- Enhanced Typesetting : Enabled
- Lending : Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #1,243,004 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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But I digress...
This book had a compelling plot, sympathetic characters, and plenty of moral conflict. Usually when people hold back in stories, or don't say what they mean or express how they really feel- I want to throw my tablet across the room. This time however- it didn't make me roll my eyes. The complicated nature of their situation, as well as the controlling possessive tendencies their employer, made it necessary- albeit somewhat heartbreaking. My only beef was how Peri kept harping on about her age (as if your 20s are ancient) and how little she ate - despite being an athlete that needs protein and calories to uphold the amount of rigorous training they undergo. Also, and while I do understand that the 70s and 80s were a different time - her ballet instructor was a pedophile and a rapist. Plain and simple.
Regardless of it's flaws, I really enjoyed it, and definitely tried to take my time with this to make it last.
If you were on the fence about this- take the chance. You'll be pleasantly surprised too.
The struggle is real in the ballet world, I'm sure; it's just that I felt I was being "told" instead of being "shown" by the author what was actually happening. And there are SO MANY topics touched on that I got lost in trying to understand and connect all of them. I did find myself skimming the last 1/3 of the book because I felt "overloaded" with words and topics and the author telling me how everyone feels, what they are all thinking, their entire backstory, etc. and, sometimes, repetitively so. Part if a beautiful story is letting the characters and their circumstances be somewhat of a mystery that is slowly revealed as the story progresses. Perhaps, by trying to cover such a large span of time, there is too much going on and a lot of gaps in time where you kind of wonder "how did she/he get from point A to point B?" - and there is some predictability as to what's going to happen. Don't get me wrong - it's an interesting story with some engaging characters and a lot of beautifully poetic words - I just felt like I wanted more. And, less is more, if you know what I mean.
The last few things I would like to say are 1) I wish Bob had been named somewhat more provocatively because "Bob" is just so plain; 2) even with everything going on - so many topics being alluded to and dealt with - I love that the author is ultimately able to address the "God thing" and how our humanity is lacking without "Him" (which is still true today) and how prejudiced and mean some people can be because they're ignorant; 3) I think I would've liked the book to end when Mr. D comes to his "end" and Peri is set free -- the rest of the story just seemed forced, like the author didn't know how/when to end it. Give your readers some credit. They like to fill in the blanks and imagine how the future will be for the main characters. Trust yourself, too, Ms Bomboy. You created a complex and complicated romance & set it down in a crazy world. Genius. I will be reading more of your books after I do some research of ballet and ballroom dancing - because I REALLY want to understand your magical words much better.
Aside from the romantic aspect, there were some very sad themes explored and handled with care. Growing up in the 80s I remember them well and how they affected people. The care given to the structure of book, and the message was impressive and noteworthy.
I found it particularly refreshing that there was no sense of 'things are going to work out.' No instant 'love will set them free' feeling. I loved that I was unsure until the end, and what a climb to the end.
Another winner from Erin Bomboy. I hope she is working on her next.
Top reviews from other countries
Peri is twenty-nine years old and convinced her dancing career is done. Aside an old injury that occasionally plagues her she has lost her dancing partner, who is also her best friend Bob, who is dying of AIDS. The owner, director and choreographer for the company Mr. D abused her sexually from the first, but even he seems less interested in her now, his own creativity fading following a stroke. Then he starts talking of a comeback and takes on a new boy as a dancer. And a boy indeed, a seventeen-year-old with real talent - Mark.
This book is set in the 1980s and is a mix of Billy Elliot type issues and unconventional romance. An older woman with a much younger man. It touches on some very poignant social commentary, but it is never preachy. Although the book is focused around a production in a ballet company, it is not really about ballet - that aspect provides the backcloth and sometimes the metaphor, for the grander story being unfolded.
‘Hate enabled a person to believe they had all the answers, that morality was a bright line, slicing actions into right and wrong with no regard to nuance, sensitivity, or context.’
The most powerful and impacting aspect of this book has to be the characterisation. Each character is exquisitely drawn and highly believable. the writing is strong and confident, with the story being told both from Peri and Mike’s perspectives, but never slipping into the heads of the other or other people. The pace is very well managed and there is a superb tension maintained but not overplayed, a sense of impending doom, like a dark cloud on the horizon with the uncertainty of if or when the storm will break.
This is more than just an age-gap romance, although it is a very good one. There are some wonderful nuggets of true wisdom buried almost casually in the text.Although set in the 1980s it also explores some issues that are cutting-edge today - specifically the expectation of older, powerful men that they are entitled to use a young woman for sex in return for advancing her career.
‘Disingenuousness was the weapon of the poor lover, and it, when brandished, couldn’t slay earnestness, kindness, and cheerfulness—slender, inconsequential arrows on their own, but powerfully precise when grouped together and levelled at her heart.’
The only real faults this book had IMO were the rather overlong epilogue chapters and the occasional moment of overwriting. Now and then a sentence would seem a touch too hard worked and would stand out for being so. But these are really minor issues in an otherwise outstanding book.
I can recommend this to anyone who enjoys a romance in which there is a strong story outside that focus.