I received a free copy for my honest review.
About the Book:
• Hardcover: 304 pages
• Publisher: Harper (January 26, 2016)
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.
About the Author:
Sari Wilson trained as a dancer with the Harkness Ballet in New York and was on scholarship at Eliot Feld’s New Ballet School. She was a Wallace Stegner Fellow at Stanford University, a fellow of the Provincetown Fine Arts Center, and her fiction has appeared in Agni, the Oxford American, Slice, andThird Coast. She lives in Brooklyn with her husband, the cartoonist Josh Neufeld.
I don’t know how to classify this book; it’s not really a ballet book even though there is much about ballet in it. It’s not a love story, it’s not chick lit. It is fully engrossing and my first 5 star read of the new year. I wanted to turn around and start reading it again but my reading schedule doesn’t allow for that. It’s not the type of book I usually read with lots of back and forth in time and characters that are not always likable but it is powerfully written and hard to put down.
I admit to a fascination with dancing and ballet specifically. Most young girls of my age were taken to dance school as children. I believe my classes started when I was 5 or 6. I took ballet and tap – it was just what was done. While I never had the ability to do anything more than dance once and a while with my husband I did develop a strong love for the art of the dance. So any time I see a book about the subject I am all over it. While Girl Through Glass wasn’t specifically about the ballet world there was enough to draw me in and the writing and the rest of the story kept me there.
It’s a book about secrets, bad family relationships and trying to find exactly what you are looking for. Mira is a child of a broken home and she only seems to find peace in the rigid structure of her ballet classes. She grows much too mature before her time and her mother is an unmitigated disaster as a parent. Mira’s story is told from the past. Kate is a former dancer who is now a teacher at a college in the Midwest but her position is not secure and she is a little brittle. She makes a disastrous mistake that sends her looking to her past. Her story is told from the present. The two seem to have little to do with each other – until they do.
It is more a book about emotions and life than ballet. It is a book that makes you wonder about the sacrifice that is required for many things – not just something like ballet – and the impact of one’s actions. A really thought provoking book