Saturday, May 19, 2012
Book Review: "The Cranes Dance" by Meg Howrey
The Cranes Dance follows Kate as she starts getting the chance to play a more prominent role in the ballet company as she struggles with an injury of her own, as well as questioning about her talent and her own mental toughness. Her relationships with her friends and mentors are fraught with unspoken tension caused by one issue or another, and she finds herself torn between wanting Gwen to recover and return to New York City, and not wanting to have to be her sister's keeper any longer. This book gives a warts-and-all glimpse into the ballet world, the different personalities that occupy it, and the passions that drive it. (Meg Howrey was once a professional dancer, so her authenticity rings true.)
I really enjoyed this book because it was more than just a story about a ballet companyit is a story about relationships, a story about battling your demons and coming to terms with your own strengths and weaknesses, and a story about how you can find yourself simultaneously needing and resenting the same person. Kate's voice is at times humorous, sarcastic, needy, sad, hopeful, and passionate, and Howrey juggles all of those emotions quite well. Kate and Gwen's relationship is a very complex one, and Howrey straddles a fine line between who did the hurting and who wound up hurt. It's a very enjoyable and compelling read, and I'd highly recommend Howrey's first book, Blind Sight, which I loved last year, and included it on my list of the best books I read in 2011.