Friday, March 23, 2012

Sisters' Rivalry in the Ballet: The Cranes Dance by Meg Howrey


Kate Crane is a principal dancer with a New York City Ballet Company. She's tough, out-spoken, and needy. After a neck injury, she discovers her sister, Gwen's, stash of Vicodin and starts to develop a habit. She's just broken up with her boyfriend and her parents, at Kate's request, have taken her sister home to recover from what are apparently psychotic breaks. Kate thinks she did the right thing, but can she ever be sure? She has felt for many years inferior to Gwen as a dancer. Did she want her out of the way?

The book is devoted to Kate's thoughts: coming to terms with her past, her relationship with her sister, and perhaps most of all, her devotion to ballet. In the story, she questions all of these things and eventually comes to a resolution.

The action centers around a prominent New York ballet company and gives us a glimpse of what it means to be a featured dancer. I found the details very well done. It's obvious that the author knows what she's writing about.

If you're interested in the ballet, this is a wonderful book. You feel that you're living the life of a ballerina. However, I found the angst about her relationship with her sister overdrawn and tedious. Sibling rivalry is a reality, and I can appreciate Kate's emotional problems, but I thought there was too much emphasis on her inner demons and not enough action.

I reviewed the book as part of the Amazon Vine Program.