Wednesday, May 16, 2012

The Cranes Dance

Title: The Cranes Dance
Publisher: Knopf Doubleday
Pub Date:  May 15th, 2012
Author: Meg Howrey
Received From: NetGalley

The Cranes Dance

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.

I love stories that really pull you into a characters life. I started this book out so confused by Kate. Who was she really besides a dancer? But what I soon learned is that dancing professionally is who she is. This book gave me the impression that dancing professionally is 3 full time jobs. But Kate is more than a dance she is a woman struggling. 
She struggles with keeping up in her profession, relating to other dancers, making nice with the bosses and promoters, and the role she played in what she sees as the demise of her sister Gwen. After moving out of her boyfriends Kate found herself in the apartment she once shared with Gwen. Gwen now at home with the parents recovering, living here gave Kate some scary insight!

Throughout this book there is a lot of back and forth from current time to the past. Memories in Kate's mind all  jumbled in with today. I found it exhausting in a really good way to be in the main characters head. As with any good story there are relationship dynamics and Kate struggled to juggle some of them. But I am not sure anyone of us really do that well! What Kate did well was dance, and find a niche for her future while not compromising who she was! I spent quite a bit of time while reading this book hoping to see this in her future and I was pleased to see it come to light! Between the insiders look at a ballet company and the inside of our characters minds this was a deep insightful book!


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