Ballerina by Edward Stewart

(Public Domain Pictures)

Most ballet lovers will enjoy this gritty and very American story about young girls struggling to become successful in a fierce and cutthroat world.  The tale involves Anna, a pushy ballet mother, Stephanie, her daughter, and Chrissy, Steph's friend. Anna ruined her own career, so she is determined to help Steph get ahead and to protect her interests, no matter what it costs.  Steph is supremely talented, but she has lots of setbacks on her path.  Chris lacks confidence and hasn't got Stephanie's talent. Her tendency to depression doesn't help her. There's also the ubiquitous handsome Russian who all the girls fancy.

This book reminded me of the film Turning Point with its edgy and fast-moving plot.  It's very different from Rumer Godden's much gentler ballet novels.  They are better written, but I'm interested in reading more novels by Stewart.


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