Did you know I used to dance? I was in ballet, tap, lyrical, jazz, and clogging, which is a story for another day. Reading this book was like a walk down memory lane, and I loved it! Ballet Orphans is the prequel to the Ballet Theatre Chronicles. If you haven’t read the others, I think this is a great place to start the series without feeling like you have missed anything.
This story focuses on April, a soloist at the New York American Ballet Theatre. After some tragic events in her life, she takes the offer to start dancing with the West Coast Ballet Theatre. I loved that this story had the main character moving from one coast to the other. There was a wonderful feeling of a restart with April moving so far away and taking a chance to dance with a new company.
Overall, this is a story that creates wonderful characters that you get to know and don’t want to stop learning about. It has made me want to read more in the series, which is exciting! The story was easy to get into, and I definitely didn’t want to put it down!
To Read or Not To Read:
I would recommend Ballet Orphans for readers that enjoy stories with great character development and relationships. Super bonus if you were/are a dancer or enjoy dance!
Where to Find This Book:
Ballet Orphans by Terez Mertes Rose is available at these sites:
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.
Just the Facts:
Ballet Orphans by Terez Mertes Rose
Series: Ballet Theatre Chronicles – Prequel
Genre: General Fiction
Page Count: 372 pages
Publisher: Classical Girl Press
Pub Date: January 2, 2021
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.
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I was provided a gifted copy of this book for free. I am leaving my honest review voluntarily.