Friday, November 25, 2022

Book Review: "They're Going to Love You" by Meg Howrey

The latest novel from Meg Howrey is a story of ambition and family dysfunction, set against the backdrop of the ballet world.

With a mother who was a former Balanchine ballerina and a father who managed a dance company, could Carlisle want to be anything other than a dancer? She pursued it with great gusto, especially because it gave her more chances to enter her father’s glamorous world, where he lived in Greenwich Village with his partner, James, a former dancer-turned-teacher.

She loved spending time with her father Robert and James in particular, although in the mid- to late 1980s, the AIDS crisis decimated their circle of friends. But James also taught her about the world, about art, life, and of course, dance. Until a betrayal occurred which tore them apart and estranges her from her father.

Nineteen years later, Carlisle has made a life for herself as a choreographer and dance teacher. One day she gets a phone call—it’s James, and he tells her that her father is dying. She’s not spoken to her father in almost 20 years, but James thinks he’d like to see her before he dies. Doing so reopens old wounds and forces Carlisle to confront the reasons for their estrangement.

Howrey is a former dancer and she brings such authenticity to her descriptions of the dance world, the hunger to perform. I felt like there was a little too much detail here, which bogged the plot down, and it took SO LONG for the reason for Carlisle and Robert’s estrangement to be revealed. (And honestly, I was like, "That's it?")

I’ve seen some great reviews of this, so it might’ve just been me. I have enjoyed some of her previous novels.

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