It’s 1990, and New York soloist April Manning is trying to rebalance her world in the aftermath of her parents’ deaths. An offer to join the struggling West Coast Ballet Theatre as a principal dancer seems like the perfect opportunity for a fresh start—a new life in San Francisco, an exciting step up in her career, and the hope of a redefined sense of family. But the other dancers are wary, clannish and tight-lipped, particularly about an incident that hastened the departure of their beloved artistic director, leading to the arrival of his replacement, the young, inexperienced Anders Gunst. And no one wants to talk about Jana, a former company member who defiantly walked out rather than work under Anders. It is Jana herself who offers April hints, and even friendship, where she reveals a loneliness and hunger to belong that newly orphaned April well understands. But there is something troubling about Jana, and what April doesn’t know could prove deadly.
A prequel to the Ballet Theatre Chronicles, BALLET ORPHANS explores the work and sacrifices required to arrive at the highest tiers of the professional ballet world, coupled with the primal, universal desire to belong, to love and be loved, and the lengths we’ll go to protect those we call family.
“A stimulating and entertaining tale in which passion and art intermingle.” — Kirkus Reviews
The conversation stopped.
I ran the water faucet, a pantomime of washing, pulling a paper towel as if to dry my hands. And now the conversation outside the bathroom took on a fake brightness, so that when I stepped out, we greeted each other with exclamations, awkward hugs and pecks on the cheek. We all marveled aloud at how good the other looked, and other polite falsehoods that you did to maintain pleasant family relations, but through it all, I felt the aching truth behind my mother’s concern.
You’ll have no family once I’m gone.
The three of us grew silent as we studied my mother. She looked worse; her cheeks had taken on a greyish pallor, casting doubt on any illusion of a positive end result. Terror flared up in me again, a breath-stealing child’s fear at the prospect of losing my last parent.
Aunt Irma turned to me, her expression kinder. “You’ve been here a while?”
“Since eight o’clock.”
“Poor dear,” Aunt Sally said, her sympathy genuine. “That’s early.
You must be exhausted.”
“I’m fine,” I lied.
“Why don’t you go get yourself something to eat?” Aunt Irma said. “There’s that Denny’s, less than a block away. It’s much better than the cafeteria downstairs. We’ll be here with your mom.”
“Thanks, that’s a good idea. I won’t be long.”
“Take your time. Your mom isn’t going anywhere.”
BALLET ORPHANS : A Prequel
(Ballet Theatre Chronicles Book 3)
by Terez Mertes Rose
Publisher: Classical Girl Press ( January 2, 2021 )
Genre: Contemporary, Classical Dancing, Female Friendship, Womens Fiction
Formats: Paperback, eBook
Find it: Goodreads, Amazon, Kindle, B&N, TBD, Bookshop.org
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Terez Mertes Rose is a writer and former ballet dancer whose work has appeared in the Crab Orchard Review, Literary Mama, Women Who Eat (Seal Press), A Woman’s Europe (Travelers’ Tales), the Philadelphia Inquirer and the San Jose Mercury News. She reviews dance performances for Bachtrack.com and blogs about ballet and classical music at The Classical Girl. The author of the Ballet Theatre Chronicles and A Dancer’s Guide to Africa, she makes her home with family in the Santa Cruz Mountains. She loves good food, good wine, great books, and a good (but not too hard) adult ballet class. She’s proud to announce that Outside the Limelight, Book 2 of the Ballet Theatre Chronicles, was named a Best Book of 2017 by Kirkus Reviews.
This is the first book i’ve picked up from Rose and Never was into the dancing scene so this was a completely new world for me. I was interested in it due to the captivating description and the cover being so cute. This is a prequel to the rest of the series and I felt it can be read as a stand-alone.
As they say this gives you a behind the curtain look into the life that Ballet Orphans gave. Between the terms and detail descriptions of the dances I felt I was there watching in without having me confused or having to look up the information to try to finish the book. Rose even added a glossary at the back of the book of ballet terms which is very handy! Because I for one had no idea what the in or outs of Ballet is other than the sequin or solid beautiful outfits I wouldn’t mind wearing as a child if my parents let me (they never did!)
We meet the Principal Dancer, April Manning, as she leaves a ballet company from New York to a different company on the west coast in San Francisco. We got to meet many different well thought out characters with such depth within Balley Orphans but April was very distant so there was a feeling of missed connections with the other dancers. I hoped for a few connections but that opportunity was missed, maybe in the other books already released this friendship is formed?
I did find myself invested in the different characters then the romance between Russell and April which was so clean but still enjoyable. This can easily be a YA Romance as well. Although this is a strong ballet theme it gave me a feel that I did not need to feel like i know anything about ballet, yet I could see how it would appeal to those who do like if I read books about tennis.
Overall, a beautiful story with interesting weave of a plot that even when I had no idea about the topic I felt included. The personalities and the descriptions kept me turning the pages – Maybe my daughter will love this book one day!
Lastly thank you to Rose and Rockstar Book Tours for the opportunity to read Ballet Orphans for a honest review during the tour!a Rafflecopter giveaway https://widget-prime.rafflecopter.com/launch.js
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