Monday, June 11, 2012
Review: The Cranes Dance
Author: Meg Howrey
Length: 384 pages
Publisher: Vintage Books
Source: Vintage Books
Synopsis: (from Goodreads): I threw my neck out in the middle of Swan Lake last night.
So begins the tale of Kate Crane, a soloist in a celebrated New York City ballet company who is struggling to keep her place in a very demanding world. At every turn she is haunted by her close relationship with her younger sister, Gwen, a fellow company dancer whose career quickly surpassed Kate’s, but who has recently suffered a breakdown and returned home.
Alone for the first time in her life, Kate is anxious and full of guilt about the role she may have played in her sister’s collapse. As we follow her on an insider tour of rehearsals, performances, and partners onstage and off, she confronts the tangle of love, jealousy, pride, and obsession that are beginning to fracture her own sanity. Funny, dark, intimate, and unflinchingly honest, The Cranes Dance is a book that pulls back the curtains to reveal the private lives of dancers and explores the complicated bond between sisters.
My Thoughts: **3 1/2 ** I found this book to be incredibly interesting. It's like a behind the scenes look at a ballet company and one dancer's life. Fascinating! Kate Crane is a very reliable, likeable narrator. I felt her pain, drive, guilt. I liked that we followed Kate through both the ups and downs. This is not a book that glorifies ballet or ballet dancers. It is a real look at what it takes to be a ballerina.
For those of you who crave a little extra drama you will not be disappointed in Gwen's appearances in The Cranes Dance. I feel like that story line is one better left explored on your own.
As an extra bonus, as I hang my head in shame, I now know the story line of Swan Lake. I have never seen Swan Lake but am now looking forward to an opportunity to arise for me to do so.
If you are interested in performing arts, family dynamics, and enjoy a compelling read I would suggest picking up The Cranes Dance. If you do, I would love to know what you thought of it!