Dare Me meets Black Swan and Luckiest Girl Alive in a captivating, voice-driven debut novel about a trio of ballerinas who meet as students at the Paris Opera Ballet School.
Thirteen years ago, Delphine abandoned her prestigious soloist spot at the Paris Opera Ballet for a new life in St. Petersburg––taking with her a secret that could upend the lives of her best friends, fellow dancers Lindsay and Margaux. Now 36 years old, Delphine has returned to her former home and to the legendary Palais Garnier Opera House, to choreograph the ballet that will kickstart the next phase of her career––and, she hopes, finally make things right with her former friends. But Delphine quickly discovers that things have changed while she's been away...and some secrets can't stay buried forever.
Moving between the trio's adolescent years and the present day, Rachel Kapelke-Dale's The Ballerinas explores the complexities of female friendship, the dark drive towards physical perfection in the name of artistic expression, the double-edged sword of ambition and passion, and the sublimated rage that so many women hold inside––all culminating in a twist you won't see coming, with magnetic characters you won't soon forget.
Available on NetGalley
Average rating from 436 members
I have never read this author or if I can recall correctly a story about dancing. BUT I am so very glad I did. This was such a great book. I loved the characters and story line. I will definitely look for more by this author! Thank you to Netgalley and Publisher for allowing me the opportunity to read this! Pub Date: 12/21-- def recommend
A stunning book. I adored it. This tale of three friends, unfolds across their lives in the insular and unique world of professional ballet. And yet rather than being just a glimpse into this unique world, this story somehow captures enduring truths about how women struggle to achieve our dreams and potential. Well drawn characters, a plot that kept me turning pages, and so many thought-provoking points. This is a great book for book clubs, friends who want something meaty to talk about, or even a private retreat where you take time to journal about your own life and consider how things have unfolded and what you want from this point forward. All the stars - highly recommend.
Date reviewed/posted: March 25, 2021 Publication date: December 7, 2021 When life for the entire galaxy and planet has turned on its end, you are continuing to #maskup and #lockdown to be in #COVID19 #socialisolation as the #secondwave ( #thirdwave ?)is upon us, superspeed readers like me can read 300+ pages/hour, so yes, I have read the book … and many more today. I requested and received a temporary digital Advance Reader Copy of this book from #NetGalley, the publisher and the author in exchange for an honest review. From the publisher, as I do not repeat the contents or story of books in reviews, I let them do it as they do it better than I do 😸. Dare Me meets Black Swan and Luckiest Girl Alive in a captivating, voice-driven debut novel about a trio of ballerinas who meet as students at the Paris Opera Ballet School. Thirteen years ago, Delphine abandoned her prestigious soloist spot at the Paris Opera Ballet for a new life in St. Petersburg––taking with her a secret that could upend the lives of her best friends, fellow dancers Lindsay and Margaux. Now 36 years old, Delphine has returned to her former home and to the legendary Palais Garnier Opera House, to choreograph the ballet that will kickstart the next phase of her career––and, she hopes, finally make things right with her former friends. But Delphine quickly discovers that things have changed while she's been away...and some secrets can't stay buried forever. Moving between the trio's adolescent years and the present day, Rachel Kapelke-Dale's The Ballerinas explores the complexities of female friendship, the dark drive towards physical perfection in the name of artistic expression, the double-edged sword of ambition and passion, and the sublimated rage that so many women hold inside––all culminating in a twist you won't see coming, with magnetic characters you won't soon forget. This was a great book that was a vacation around the world that was guaranteed COVID-free and free-for-the-price-of-the-book! The author obviously loves Paris and ballerinas and that was lovingly shown - the characters were well fleshed out (well, fleshed out for a ballerina ... lol) and the storyline lovingly crafted. I will highly recommend this book to those in search of a new author or a vacation within the covers of a book. Book clubs would love this as well for its themes of the perils of friendship and the need for perfection. As always, I try to find a reason to not rate with stars as I simply adore emojis (outside of their incessant use by "🙏-ed Social Influencer Millennials/#BachelorNation survivors/Tik-Tok and YouTube Millionaires/snowflakes / literally-like-overusers etc. " on Instagram and Twitter... Get a real job, people!) so let's give it 🗼🗼🗼🗼🗼 (closest that I could come to La Tour Eiffel!)
I love dance novels. I can smell the studio and perfectly picture what these ballerinas look like. The complexities of friendship, secrets, and competitiveness are examined, along with the role that men play in women's lives. Kindly received an ARC from NetGalley and St. Martin's Press in exchange for an honest review.
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ The Ballerinas by Rachel Kapelke-Dale is astounding; I might even say her novel is a tour de force. I was fortunate to have a dear friend in my adult life named Edith Royal. She founded the first ballet company in Orlando, Florida. But at one time, she had danced on the New York stage with Rudolf Nureyev. I know this, not because she told me, but because I saw the photos in her bedroom. She was not a person to draw attention to herself. Long after Edith retired into private life with her husband, I was at church when a beautiful young woman entered (or I could say “floated) down the aisle. Edith saw her, and at the end of the service, she asked the ballerina where she danced. When the young ballerina responded and then asked Edith her name, the ballerina immediately dropped into the most extended and lowest bow. This was a sign of respect. She was honoring Edith, a great ballerina with a remarkable history and reputation. I have always been fascinated by ballerinas with their graceful arms, ability to move on air, and commanding beauty. This book does all of the girls/women/ladies a great honor with the telling of this story. A ballet dancer is a challenging profession; the demands are extraordinary, the abuse they suffer is unfathomable, and they are expected to accept it without complaint. The stories you hear of the ruthlessness of the ballet are not untrue. I’m sure they may be exactly as we read in this story about three best friends who are all competing to be the principal dancer. I loved this book. It is not just about ballerinas; it’s about the injustice that many women are subjected to in society today. For every plié forward sometimes, we take two steps back. Bravo to Ms. Dale! Thank you to NetGalley for this ARC but my review and opinions on my own without bias. #ballerina #theBallerinas #dance #paris #competition #murder #jealousy @rachelkapelkedale @netgalley
An amazing book of the intricacies of being a ballerina, the complications of friendship and personal goals and the meaning of home. It’s a story of self-discovery and wanting to be really seen for the person we truly are. In the era of the Metoo movement this book also addresses the influence that men can have over our lives as they try to mood us and as we aim to please, losing ourselves in the process. There is so much to discuss in this book. And to add to that I loved the setting in Paris and the behind the scenes of the ballet. I thank Netgalley and Rachel Kapelke-Dale for the opportunity to read an advance copy of this book. 🩰🩰🩰🩰🩰
A cross between Centerstage and Black Swan, this book takes you to Paris and into the cutthroat, highly competitive ballet world. Centering around three ballerinas trying to make it to principal dancers and spread out out over 25+ years, timelines flip back and forth to tell their struggles with men and aging, their need to be perfect, their secrets they kept to get ahead, and, most importantly, their story of friendship. As a person who grew up dancing, I was immediately captivated by this story. I really enjoyed it. Thank you to Net Galley and St. Martin’s Press for this digital ARC in exchange for my honest review.
While I did ballet for 12 years, I wasn't at this level. I do remember some of my classmates going through great lengths to lose and maintain weight. I do remember bandaging my toes, all the lambs' wool, and breaking in a new pair of shoes. Delphine and her two best friends had been in the same company for years. Delphine had left, after being given a prestigious spot all the dancers covet, and follows a choreographer to St. Petersburg. She finally leaves him and returns home to find that things have changed. In the thirteen years she has been gone her friends have different lives. The are all aging out of the dance program, but Delphine has convinced her boss to let her offer Lindsey the starring role in the ballet she is choreographing. She owes her. Margaux is still there as protective as ever. While Delphine has stayed single, Lindsey is married to a man who adores her and hopes to a father some day to their child. Margaux is married to a woman she loves and desperately wants to have children with, but they are having difficulties. So many different stories woven into the same narrative, Delphine's story is told in the present and in the past alternating chapters. I love getting to know these women and remembering some of my past as a dancer. I liked getting to know other characters and the effects they had on the lives of Delphine, Margaux and Lindsey. I was given the opportunity to read this book by NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review.