Thursday, February 18, 2016

Girl Through Glass: A Novel by Sari Wilson

(Thank you to the publisher and TLC Book Tours for providing me with a copy of this book!)
about book:

An enthralling literary debut that tells the story of a young girl’s coming-of-age in the cutthroat world of New York City ballet—a story of obsession and perfection, trust and betrayal, beauty and lost innocence.

In the roiling summer of 1977, eleven-year-old Mira is an aspiring ballerina in the romantic, highly competitive world of New York City ballet. Enduring the mess of her parents’ divorce, she finds escape in dance—the rigorous hours of practice, the exquisite beauty, the precision of movement, the obsessive perfectionism. Ballet offers her control, power, and the promise of glory. It also introduces her to forty-seven-year-old Maurice DuPont, a reclusive, charismatic balletomane who becomes her friend and mentor.

Over the course of three years, Mira is accepted into the prestigious School of American Ballet, run by the legendary George Balanchine, and eventually becomes one of “Mr. B’s girls”—a dancer of rare talent chosen for greatness. As she ascends in the ballet world, her relationship with Maurice intensifies, touching dark places within herself and sparking unexpected desires that will upend both their lives.

In the present day, Kate, a professor of dance at a midwestern college, embarks on a risky affair with a student that threatens to obliterate her career and capsize the new life she has painstakingly created for her reinvented self. When she receives a letter from a man she’s long thought dead, Kate is hurled back into the dramas of a past she thought she had left behind.

Moving between the past and the present, Girl Through Glass illuminates the costs of ambition, perfection, secrets, and the desire for beauty, and reveals how the sacrifices we make for an ideal can destroy—or save—us.

my thoughts:

Wow! What a story! Sari Wilson's debut novel, Girl Through Glass is dark, disturbing, and utterly fascinating! I just could not stop reading!

I'm not a ballet person and have never taken a dance class, so I was definitely surprised by how excited I was to read this book. I guess after watching Black Swan, I'm a bit fascinated by the "behind the scenes" stories of the ballet world.  So, I figured that Girl Through Glass would make for an  interesting read - boy, did it ever!

Here's what I loved about the book:
  • Dual narratives by the same character in different time periods - how awesome is that!?!  Early on you figure out that Kate is Mira and therein lies the connection between both stories.  Regardless, you can't help but be captivated by both stories and characters.
  • Mira is eleven and in love with ballet.  She wants to be number one and practices like crazy. All of her focus in on ballet, because both of her parents are selfish and don't really care what gets up to - her mom is all about finding her self.  Talk about great parenting! 
  • Ballet 101.  Through Mira we learn about the different dance moves, the clothes, the hair, the shoes - everything that is ballet.  We get to experience it through her eyes and its simply fascinating. 
  • I have to admit to caring more about Mira's story than Kate's.  You can't help but care for this poor kid whose left to navigate the ballet world on her own.  And it is a dark and disturbing world at times, so leaving a kid on her own is not a good idea.  Especially when you have Maurice, a wolf in sheep's clothing, watching over these young girls. 
  • I couldn't stand Kate, but I still wanted to know what was going to happen to her.  She was so self-destructive.  Of course, knowing she was Mira and what she experienced as a kid, well, you can understand why Kate struggles so much.  In the present, she is trying to keep her job as a professor...or is she?  She winds up sleeping with a student and manages to make matters worse for herself.  The more she tries to escape her past, the more she realizes she needs to face it.  Especially when she receives a letter from the man who damaged her so badly - ack!  
  • The writing was mesmerizing! I was hooked from the start. The rich, vivid details depicting life in the late seventies and the ballet world was just perfect.  And the characters whose lives are so complex and real, that you just can't help but care for them (even when you don't really like them).  Oh, and the story lines - the way they carry along side by side and finally connect - wow!  
I absolutely loved Girl Through Glass!  It was a terrific story that kept me glued to my seat all day long.  I would happily recommend this book to bunheads, fans of the dance world, and fans looking for a truly great read - you will LOVE this book!

Here's the TLC Book Tours schedule for: Girl Through Glass
Thank you to the publisher and TLC Book Tours for providing me with a copy of this book!


Lark said...

Books about ballet are one of my weaknesses...even though I never took dance. But maybe that's why I like them so much, because they give me a window into a world that I will never otherwise know. I'm definitely going to be reading this one!! :) Great review!

Nadia said...

Lark, we all have weaknesses and I think ballet stories are a great one to have :) Read it and let me know what you think of it! I think you'll enjoy it. Thanks!

Heather J @ TLC Book Tours said...

Dark and fascinating ... words I didn't think could be applied to ballet but clearly should be!

Thanks for being a part of the tour.

Nadia said...

Heather, it really is such a great read! Thanks for having me on the tour :)

Beth said...

I tried reading this last week and just couldn't get into it. I decided to move on to something else so I may get back to it someday. Your review is really making me think that's going to be what happens. Glad you enjoyed it!

Nadia said...

Beth, I can dig that. Moving on to a new book is always the way to go. Some books just aren't for everyone. Thanks :)