Before Black Swan, there was Ballerina: Edward Stewart’s acclaimed novel that follows two young women into the cutthroat world of professional dance.
Stephanie Lang and Christine Avery meet in ballet school. Although they share the same dream - to become great dancers - they could not be more different. Ballet is in Stephanie’s blood; her mother, Anna, is a former dancer who lives to see her daughter achieve the fame she herself never attained. Christine has lived a sheltered life, secure in the love of her family. But her privileged upbringing conceals a devastating secret.
Two teenage dancers, one chance to make it. From the thrill and terror of auditions through years of meticulous training to landing a coveted spot in a professional company, Stephanie and Christine relentlessly pursue their ambitions. As they give their all to dance, they become inseparable - until they are torn apart by their passion for the same man, a brilliant Russian dancer whose seductive, mercurial temperament will have unforeseen consequences for them all.
©1978, 1979 Edward Stewart (P)2014 Audible, Inc.
Runs with scissors.
It's not a romantic novel but a novel about the passion that drives people to work beyond what most people would endure to do that which they love most to do..to dance. And about the cut throat world of ballet, the ever present judgement, and envy, and love and hate that shapes the human condition, sometimes beyond endurance. I last read this book at least 20 years ago and was very pleased to see it available here on Audible. I enjoyed every minute of this story like it was yesterday. It reads relevant today even though it was first published in 1978. And Angela Goethals does a beautiful job narrating. I can't imagine feeling this was a wasted credit although there is a character that until the end is quite tedious and a few that are rather unsettling. But every story has those...
This was a great story--fast-paced, fascinating inside knowledge of ballet incorporated throughout, sympathetic characters and situations, good closure, and the narration was very good, too. I played it on 1.25 speed which was perfect to my ear. I looked forward to listening everyday. Definitely recommend it!
Canadian | Lover of gruesome horror/depravity/anything medically related/urban fantasy/non-fiction/and YA.
I read Ballerina years ago when I was a teenager, and I realize now that I did not fully appreciate it back then. I picked up this audiobook on a whim now that I am an adult, and it is truly a beautiful story, and the ending is much more haunting than I had remembered.
First off, this is a book about dedication and friendship. Ballet composes the entire book, but it is written so vividly that you can actually visualize all of the performances and practices. All the characters are multidimensional and superbly written. There is the right amount of drama in the story line that isn’t too heavy and tiresome, but enough to keep you coming back.
You don’t even have to be involved in ballet to enjoy this book. Ballerina is truly a gem, and I am utterly shocked this title isn’t more popular on audible. Angela Goethals did a phenomenal job narrating this long book, and honestly, her performance, French pronunciation, and Russian accents only gets better and better throughout the book.
If the summary peaked your interest, you should definitely pick up this book. It is a beautiful and haunting story that sticks with you, and it is hands down worth the credit.
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