Monday, 30 April 2012

Review: The Cranes Dance by Meg Howrey

(image from goodreads)

For some reason, I was a bit reluctant to continue the story after the first few pages, but I am really glad I did. I have always loved ballet, and am rather sad that I never had the chance to pursue it. 

The Cranes Dance is a tale of two sisters who are both professional ballerinas. The story is told from the perspective of the older sister, Kate, and covers an in-depth and sometimes humorous look at the fiercely competitive world of professional ballet. I had an idea that it was tough, but this story tells you just how difficult it can be, from the hours and hours of training, to the fact that being in a big-name ballet company for years does not necessarily make you a star, or even a principal. Through the words of Kate you find out that her younger sister Gwen (the more talented, and seemingly more destined for stardom sister) has suffered from some sort of mental breakdown, and little by little, the actions that led to that breakdown are revealed. 

It is a slow buildup, and the events in Kate's life don't divert the reader from what is clearly the number one activity in her life - dance. Another thing I really loved was the explanation of some of the ballet masterpieces like Swan Lake, A Midsummer's Night Dream and Giselle. I suddenly feel this desire to watch one of those pieces performed, though I'm not sure if I'll ever be able to do so without wondering what happens behind the scenes.

I am so happy I stuck with the book, and am probably going to purchase the 'real' copy when it is out.

Great job Meg Howrey, and please write more ballet books, even though you probably don't like the current onslaught of ballet movies (based on something Kate mentioned in the book).

Thanks NetGalley!

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