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Raising the Barre: Big Dreams, False Starts, and My Midlife Quest to Dance the Nutcracker Hardcover – November 24, 2015
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PBS's Next Avenue, 12/8/15
Kessler brings the reader along on a 250-page journey that's brutally challenging, hilariously funny and incontestably inspiring as she tries to morph from fit-but-not-ballet-fit mother and writer to lithe and limber Aunt Rose.”
Washington Post, 12/11/2015
Breezy Inspiring Kessler's experience will resonate with lots of readers Self-reflective and funny, Kessler has an infectious enthusiasm, and her struggle to balance family, work and her time on social media will be amusingly familiar to many.”
Oregon ArtsWatch, 12/10/15
"[An] adventurous immersion into the subculture of ballet, this is a great, inspirational story for someone who is looking for a push to take that leap and do that thing they have been putting off for a really long time. If Kessler can do it, you can do it.”
Kessler's book is well structured, generates suspense and culminates with amusing stories of performance mishaps and the rigors of touring.”
[Kessler] inspires readers as she realizes that you can't feel the thrill unless you take the risk.'”
[Kessler's] book is eloquent, funny and so inspiring that readers might want to attempt the impossible' too.”
Eugene Weekly, 11/19/15
With a funny and warm writing style, Kessler describes a history of doubts, from the poking comments of her early dance teachers to her powerful drive to succeed in Eugene Ballet Company's performances by any means necessary.”
Kirkus Reviews, 10/15/15
Kessler has a wonderfully self-conscious mettle as well, not to mention a deft hand with the evocative expression of her inner feelings. She provides a useful vest-pocket history of ballet, and The Nutcracker in particular, and she ably captures the abundant physical punishment An amusingly shrewd memoir of following a lifelong dream.”
Library Journal, 12/4/15
This delightful story of one woman's personal quest will be enjoyed by anyone who thinks age is just a number, but Nutcracker fans will find it especially appealing.”
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