The Ballerinas by Rachel Kapelke-Dale

The Ballerinas
.ePUB, 322 pages
Expected Publication: 07 Dec 2021
By St. Martin's Press

About The Book:
Thirteen years ago, Delphine abandoned her prestigious soloist spot at the Paris Opera Ballet for a new life in St. Petersburg––taking with her a secret that could upend the lives of her best friends, fellow dancers Lindsay and Margaux. Now 36 years old, Delphine has returned to her former home and to the legendary Palais Garnier Opera House, to choreograph the ballet that will kickstart the next phase of her career––and, she hopes, finally make things right with her former friends. But Delphine quickly discovers that things have changed while she's been away...and some secrets can't stay buried forever. Moving between the trio's adolescent years and the present day, Rachel Kapelke-Dale's The Ballerinas explores the complexities of female friendship, the dark drive towards physical perfection in the name of artistic expression, the double-edged sword of ambition and passion, and the sublimated rage that so many women hold inside––all culminating in a twist you won't see coming, with magnetic characters you won't soon forget.

My Review:
Paris is always a good idea...

This is a very character driven story, not usually my thing but these characters were very interesting with a unique setting. I kinda got a "mean girls" vibe from their younger selves. It is a slow burn of a story but I liked it a lot because the dialogue, internal and otherwise, felt very real and true to life. The book is told in two different timelines...One starting in 1995 and going to 2018, the other is in 2018 to the epilogue in 2019.

I was never a ballerina but I did do tap and jazz dance classes and performances in my younger years (even winning a gold medal for tap once). Reading about the fierce competition and exhausting training schedules brought it all back to me. The majority of the book revolves around something the main character, Delphine did to her friend and fellow student, Lindsay back in the day and I found the final reveal a little underwhelming.  Other than that this was a decent read that I enjoyed because the secondary stories that happen in the latter third of the book ramped it up for me and is why I am rounding up to four stars. 

With many thanks to NetGalley, Rachel Kapelke-Dale and St. Martin's Press for the giving of the ARC.



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