Maggie Shipstead ( kindle or Ebook ) Astonish Me – Epub, Kindle ePUB and TXT

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Is destined to remain in the shadowsAfter her relationship with Arslan sours Joan decides to make a new life for herself She uits ballet marries a good man and settles into the rhythm of Californian life with their son Harry But as. This is a graceful novel about professional ballet dancers and the passionate lives they lead It s also about what happens to dancers when they can t dance any how do you create a new identity if all you ve ever known is balletWe first meet Joan in the 1970s an American who is in love with Arslan a Russian dancer who defected to the States But Arslan has left Joan and is going to marry another woman With a broken heart Joan uits ballet and starts a relationship with a longtime friend which feels safer Years later Joan s life becomes entangled with ballet again when her son Harry shows a talent for it The novel jumps back and forth between the 1990s and the 1970s and through flashbacks we see the day that Joan first met Arslan and the day Arslan defected and the day Harry started dancing and many other days It took a few chapters before I was fully engaged in the story but I eventually connected with Joan s character and situation and I m glad I finished the book The ending of the story is telegraphed back at the beginning and reminds the reader just how passionate dancers can be in their art and in their livesI d recommend this novel to anyone who enjoys stories from the world of ballet My rating 35 rounded up to 4 stars Tuupovaaran Tuijottajat professional ballet dancers and the El Monstruo De La Oscuridad passionate lives they lead It s also about what happens to dancers when they can t dance any how do you create a new identity if all you ve ever known is balletWe first meet Joan in the 1970s an American who is in love with Arslan a Russian dancer who defected to the States But Arslan has left Joan and is going to marry another woman With a broken heart Joan uits ballet and starts a relationship with a longtime friend which feels safer Years later Joan s life becomes entangled with ballet again when her son Harry shows a talent for it The novel jumps back and forth between the 1990s and the 1970s and through flashbacks we see the day that Joan first met Arslan and the day Arslan defected and the day Harry started dancing and many other days It took a few chapters before I was fully engaged in the story but I eventually connected with Joan s character and situation and I m glad I finished the book The ending of the story is telegraphed back at the beginning and reminds the reader just how l-arbre-aux-sept-vies-les-sept-fils-de-phil-atilde-copy-mon passionate dancers can be in their art and in their livesI d recommend this novel to anyone who enjoys stories from the world of ballet My rating 35 rounded up to 4 stars

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Astonish Me

Astonish Me is the irresistible story of Joan a young American dancer who helps a Soviet ballet star the great Arslan Rusakov defect in 1975 A flash of fame and a passionate love affair follow but Joan knows that onstage and off she. This is not a showy sprawling epic novel instead it is compact and uietly elegant and if I may perfectly choreographed Remnants of my childhood obsession with the movie Center Stage are still floating around so with the combination of ballet and smooth poignant writing it was impossible for me not to love this Astonish Me is told through the eyes of various characters in small vignette chapters but it is primarily Joan s story Mildly talented but without that necessary it factor to become a proper and celebrated professional ballerina Joan lives a life in the corps that is mostly unremarkable Her dancing days are over when she becomes pregnant and marries Jacob who has been devoted to her since high school Their convenient marriage slowly develops into one of love but their son Harry reintroduces another component into the family ballet As he grows so does his talent and this brings Joan and Jacob right back into the dancing world Also entwined in the story are Chloe the neighbours daughter who is also very interested in the art of ballet Elaine Joan s roommate from the company a far talented soloist turned artistic director and of course Arslan Rusakov Arslan the magical near perfect Russian dancer who defects from Russia after a brief encounter with a young Joan She drives the getaway car falls into an affair with him and has her heart broken and then is brought back into his orbit years later when he becomes Harry s idol and mentor Ranging from the 70s to the early 2000s the story skips back and forth as it presents the very compelling stories of each of these characters and brings them both together and apartThe book is about family and truth and love but it is mostly about ballet and how it takes and takes and takes and gives very little but the dancers do it anyway for the power and the too fleeting glory and the fact that they have given their whole lives to ballet and they wouldn t know what else to do Ballet presents the sliver of hope that one day you might be able to reach perfection Never in her life not once has she danced the way she wishes to but futility has become an accepted companion The ideal that lives beyond the mirror makes teasing flickering appearances but never uite shows itself never solidifies into something that can be looked at and not just glimpsed The novel is a little melodramatic probably purposefully as a parallel to ballet itself And the ending was perfect and sweet and sad and bitter yes I wish I had had time in this absorbing world 232 pages are just not enough but I wouldn t have changed those last couple of paragraphsNow that I m in love with Maggie Shipstead I m off to go read Seating Arrangements as soon as possible

Summary Astonish Me

The years pass Joan comes to understand that ballet isn’t finished with her yet for there is no mistaking that Harry is a prodigy Inevitably Joan is soon pulled back into a world she thought she’d left behind and back to Arslan. Full immersion into the world of a professional ballet and the dancers their world their hopes and dreams The struggle to be better jump higher despite injuries and bleeding feet to be noticed Yet this story is so much What happens to the dancers when they cannot dance How do they make a new life for themselves Joan is one such dancer who falls in love with another dancer who does not stay Her story and her sons who becomes a ballet prodigy himself Well written with a uiet wisdom this is an enthralling read about families secrets and sacrificeIt is based on some actual well known dancers and it was easy for me to guess who was represented by whom in this novel Loved every minute of this book


10 thoughts on “Astonish Me

  1. says:

    As the son of a retired dance teacher and the husband of a former dancer and the father of a current dancer I felt the beat of Maggie Shipstead’s new ballet novel even before the curtain roseI’ve been looking forward t

  2. says:

    This is not a showy sprawling epic novel instead it is compact and uietly elegant and if I may perfectly choreographed Remnants of my childhood obsession with the movie Center Stage are still floating around so with the combination of ballet and smooth poignant writing it was impossible for me not to love this As

  3. says:

    Readers familiar with booksmovies about ballet will recognize many of the character types in this story youngsters desperate to be professional dancers older men dancers and choreographers taking advantage of their young charges unfaithful lovers and so on The girl at the center of this story is Joan a so so ballet dancer who managed by dint of many years of lessons practice and sacrifice to become a minor m

  4. says:

    Astonish me? Yeah astonishingly dull I'm giving this a two but please note it is a very weak two very weakThere

  5. says:

    This book is without a doubt beautifully written I also loooove me a book about the intense world of ballet Shipstead inhabits her characters completely and really builds the world of this novel as her characters live it Th

  6. says:

    This is a graceful novel about professional ballet dancers and the passionate lives they lead It's also about what happens to dancers when the

  7. says:

    Astonish me charts the lives of two generations of ballet dancers The main character Joan isn't especially gifted Her claim to fame is she helps a brilliant Russian dancer defect and has an affair with him However he soon moves on to pastures new and Joan compromises by marrying the childhood friend who has always loved her and leaves the ballet company A son is born to whom she imparts her love of ballet and t

  8. says:

    4 STARSHow strange it was that a dream once realized could uickly turn mundane Not everyone can appreciate ballet much less be a fan of it I certainly am not I find the discipline and the artistic egos of those who willingly subject themselves through physical and mental torture to achieve technical perfection intriguing than the actual performance People whose sole point of validation and happiness are the appreciation of others With eno

  9. says:

    Full immersion into the world of a professional ballet and the dancers their world their hopes and dreams The struggle to

  10. says:

    It's hard to imagine that Maggie Shipstead at 30 years old could write such a wise and thoughtful book Her writing is packed with insightful com

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