by Edward Stewart
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Published by: Open Road Integrated Media Publishing on May 20, 2014
Genres: Women's Fiction, the Ballet world
Source: ARC from Publisher
Rating: 4 Stars
NOTICE: I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
As a former dancer, I simply had to read this when I saw it was coming out! I love books on dance, gymnastics - anything artsy - and this book was no exception!
Former failed professional dancer Anna has passed on her talent for ballet to daughter Stephanie. Since she didn't get to live her life as the prima ballerina she so wanted to be, she becomes a dance mom, pushing Stephanie to make Anna's own dream come true. Sometimes in the book it's questionable whether Stephanie got into ballet because she loves it or because Anna pushed it on her. Either way, it was not the "typical" dance mom/daughter story that I thought it would be. Don't judge this book by all ballet novels that have come before it or since - you will be shocked at the twists and turns.
At the beginning of the story, poor Stephanie and a rich girl named Chris (whose technique is nowhere near Stephanie's, but a dancer who has a noticeable special quality) make it into an elite ballet training program. Although Chris's parents have the money to send her there, they worry that a medical condition she has will make it hard for her to be away from home and still take care of herself. Anna, Stephanie's mom, doesn't have the money to pay for her daughter's entry into the school. Anna kills two birds with one stone by agreeing to be Chris's surrogate mother while the girls are in ballet school in return for a stipend from Chris's parents. Both girls are now able to attend and further their training.
The underlying theme, besides ballet, is friendship. Take hormones + ballet + men + naivete and stir them all up. What do you get? Ballerina by Edward Stewart
This book was originally written and published in the 70's and although re-released, has not been updated. This aspect of the novel didn't bother. I found the 70's touches like paying a dime to use a payphone fun. Others might be bothered by the lack of updates.
My only gripe with this book is that it was long and a lot of the description could've been edited out. I wish the pace had been a bit quicker and flowed a bit better. Despite that, I would recommend this to any dance fiend such as myself.