ARC Review: The Ballerinas by Rachel Kapelke-Dale

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ARC Review: The Ballerinas by Rachel Kapelke-Dale
The Ballerinas

3.5 Stars


Book Info

Released: December 7th 2021
Genre: Womens Fiction
Published by St Martin's Press
Pages: 304
Format: eARC
 

“My one recommendation for this book to is see it through to the end—I guarantee you’ll be surprised.”

~ Under the Covers

Delphine, Margaux and Lindsay were best friends united by their love and passion for ballet. They met in the Paris Opera Ballet and grew up competing for the top spots in the school and later the company, year after year. But one incident, one secret upends their career, friendship, and lives forever. As a result, Delphine leaves for Russia leaving Margaux and Lindsay to continue their lives in the Paris Opera Ballet. When Delphine returns 14 years later as a choreographer, she realizes the past has a way of catching up.

I’m going to be honest, the first half of this book was slow for me. I had a hard time connecting with the characters and staying invested in the story. However, at about 60% in the story TAKES OFF. The ending absolutely caught me off guard—the plot line went places I would never have guessed. The last 40% of this book is what really saved it from being two stars for me. My one recommendation for this book to is see it through to the end—I guarantee you’ll be surprised.

There were two things that I really appreciated about this book. The first is the female friendships. I loved the relationship between Lindsay, Delphine, and Margaux. They were their own little family and supported each other even when in direct competition. I don’t want to give any spoilers away, but let me just say female friendships really shine by the end.

The second aspect I appreciated was the focus on female bodies and the control the world exerts on them. As a ballerina, Delphine says time and time again how their bodies are really props for aesthetic purposes only. Women’s bodies don’t naturally look like this, so underlying Delphine’s sentiments is the notion of the need to strive for perfection at whatever cost. Again, I can’t get into too much detail about how this comes fully into play by the end of the book, but I will say that this notions of seeing women’s bodies as things and not as people and exerting control over women’s bodies is something that women face every single day and feel the pressure of. The author did an amazing job of putting the frustration and anger this generates into words. I know dancers are held to this standard more so than others, but Kapelke-Dale wrote this in a way that felt like it spoke for every woman.

I would recommend this one but encourage those who read it to go into it with an open mind. If you think it’s starting slow, that’s because it probably is. Stick with it and I promise you won’t be disappointed!

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ARC Review: The Ballerinas by Rachel Kapelke-Dale

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K. A Bylsma

Nice review but I’m passing on this one…too short tempered lately to have the patience…😔

Amy R

Thanks for the review.