Saturday, July 30, 2016

Girl Through Glass

Mira is a young girl struggling with the dreams of becoming a ballerina in the late 1970’s. She lives in NYC and attends a feeder school for one of the most prominent and competitive ballet companies in the world. Mira, on the one hand, seems a typical eleven year old who is insecure and a bit lonely. Her shining star is her talent in ballet class. Her parents hesitate between following her natural talent and the life that would lead to, the good and the bad. Her mentor is a 47 year old man who is well known for helping girls promote their chances at a professional career. She becomes secretly, obsessively close to this odd man and their relationship is doubtfully wholesome. Fast forward to Kate, Mira’s adult reinvented self who is quietly teaching dance at a small mid-western college as she begins an inappropriate relationship with an emotional student. Narrated through the eyes of both the young Mira and the grown Kate, this well written novel is an insightful and shocking look at the world of ballet. The physical and mental strain on these young girls is inconceivable and any good parenting is destroyed by the lure of even the remotest possibility of success. I was both mesmerized and appalled by this beautiful seedy setting which left me as a spectator in a world I had never encountered. Highly recommend this intriguing novel. Although disturbing my ideals, I was nevertheless taken away to the world of dance.

Leaving Lucy Pear

Beatrice Haven’s life has not turned out exactly as planned. The piano prodigy on her way to Radcliffe finds herself pregnant and hiding out at her Uncle’s coastal home until after the birth of her child. Bea’s wealthy parents feel that as soon as the baby is up for adoption she can resume her path that they have worked furiously on perfecting. But Bea is devastated by this loss and never the same again. Emma Murphy discovers an abandoned infant under a tree while picking pears with her family. In this small northeastern coastal town times are tough in 1917 and Emma, mother of eight can barely manage as it is. But when her eyes connect with this delicate being she cannot resist saving and raising this baby as her own. Her hard drinking, moody husband is often gone for long spans of time fishing and losing all his earnings while Emma struggles to keep the clan afloat. A decade later their lives unexpectedly connect and Emma and Beatrice find themselves facing the harsh truth of motherhood and reinventing themselves as they could have never imagined. The storyline and characters are both interesting and lively but for reasons I cannot put my finger on, I struggled through this book with forced determination. I liked each character but there were too many stories to digest. I felt the scenes moved too quickly and I was constantly lost having to remind myself who was speaking. I felt similarly to this authors first novel The Little Bride. This is absolutely beautiful writing but the style is just not for me.

Monday, July 25, 2016

Here. Home. Hope.

Kelly Mills Johnson is almost 40. She is having that mid-life feeling she always dreaded. With both her boys away at camp and her husband incredibly busy at work she finds herself extremely restless in her perfect home, in their perfect neighborhood. After evaluating her future with a harsh magnifier and envying both of her closest girlfriends that have careers, Kelly decides to take her hobby of design and reinventing rooms to the next level by charging for her services. She is very talented and quickly becomes busy, almost too busy. With “the grass is not always greener in mind” this easy read is a little bit predictable and a little bit true. I enjoyed the characters and it’s always nice to be reminded that as the years go by, things inevitably change and even though change is hard, is can be exciting too. And yeah, of course, the grass is not always greener. Recommend as an easy quick beach read. #chicklitfun