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.
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