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Astonish MeAstonish Me is the irresistible story of Joan a young American dancer who helps a Soviet ballet star the great Arslan Rusakov defect in A flash of fame and a passionate love affair follow but Joan knows that onstage and off she i. 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

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Read Ä Astonish Me ¸ PDF, DOC, TXT or eBook á [Download] ➺ Astonish Me ➿ Maggie Shipstead – Horticulturetrader.co.uk 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 followS 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 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 There is a problem of proportion in this novel It feels 200 pages too short The structure is such that at times you wonder why the abrupt shift from one character's POV to another The big secret that is not really a secret is revealed to the only people who don't know it in a really bizarre way that makes absolutely no sense see 200 pages too short An then the ending is ludicrous It just doesn't make sense And it's a shame because so much about this book is outstanding Elaine and her relationhship with Mr K Joan and her relationship with Jacob how Harry grows into young manhood how Chloe comes into her own I spent ALL NIGHT thinking about these people after I finished the book so I know there is something here I Just wanted so much from this book and for these fascinating characters

Maggie Shipstead ´ 0 review

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 Arsl. 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 trains The son is in love with the girl next door who is also training to be a dancer So there's a lot of unreuited love in this novel But what came across strongly was how vain everyone in this book is I often felt vanity was the theme of this novel but the author somehow missed it It was there by accident than design Probably there's no pursuit narcissistic than dancing It involves the constant appraisal of oneself in a mirror What was surprising and might have been clever had the author had command of it was that the non dancers were no less vain especially the men I kept feeling an opportunity was missed Instead the narrative concentrated on domestic drama and chick litty love triangles The writing and pacing too was uneven inspired passages often juxtaposed with lazy unnecessary sections It was okay but probably one of those novels I'll have little memory of six months down the line