Author: Rachel Kapelke-Dale
Genre: Mystery & Thrillers
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Publication Date: December 7 2021
Book Description: 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.
Rating: 3.5 Stars
Review: Set in Paris at the infamous Paris Opera Ballet, Delphine returns from her days as a student and dancer to become a choreographer.
Set in dual timelines, we meet Delphine, Lindsay and Margaux. They are inseparable when they meet as students at this prestigious school. They come up through the school together and eventually become part of the company, competing for coveted positions. When an incident occurs leading up to an audition, Delphine decides to take an opportunity in Russia to study choreography.
Fast forward 13 years later, she has returned and Lindsay and Margaux are still dancing, though coming to terms with being towards the end of their respective dance careers. Delphine comes in wanting to finally make Lindsay the star she was always destined to be, and is stopped in every way.
This book about half way through goes a bit off the rails, taking on very important topics, but somehow felt that they wanted to make this extremely relevant and timely book and threw in all the headline stories. At that point, the book kind of lost me. I was not expecting it, and felt it was unnecessary, and unfortunately I think will shorten the lifespan of this story.
The book is fine, but I wished it had a ton more substance than headline catching topics.
Thank you NetGalley and St. Martin’s Press for an Advanced Reader’s Copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.