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Astonish Me

Shipstead, Maggie (Book - 2014)
Average Rating: 4 stars out of 5.
Astonish Me
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"From the author of the widely acclaimed debut novel Seating Arrangements, winner of the Dylan Thomas Prize: a gorgeously written, fiercely compelling glimpse into the passionate, political world of professional ballet and its magnetic hold over two generations. Astonish Me is the irresistible story of Joan, a ballerina whose life has been shaped by her relationship with the world-famous dancer Arslan Ruskov, whom she helps defect from the Soviet Union to the U.S. While Arslan's career takes off in New York, Joan's slowly declines, ending when she becomes pregnant and decides to marry her longtime admirer, a PhD student named Jacob. As the years pass, Joan settles into her new life in California, teaching dance and watching her son, Harry, become a ballet prodigy himself. But when Harry's success brings him into close contact with Arslan, explosive secrets are revealed that shatter the delicate balance Joan has struck between her past and present. In graceful, inimitable prose, Shipstead draws us into the lives of her lovably tempestuous characters. Filled with intrigue, hilarious satire, and emotional nuance, Astonish Me is a brilliant investigation into the bonds that hold us, despite the distancing of time and geography"-- Provided by publisher.
Authors: Shipstead, Maggie
Title: Astonish me
Publisher: New York :, Alfred A. Knopf,, 2014
Edition: First edition
Characteristics: 253 pages ; 25 cm
Content Type: text
Media Type: unmediated
Carrier Type: volume
Notes: "This is a Borzoi book" --Title page verso
Summary: "From the author of the widely acclaimed debut novel Seating Arrangements, winner of the Dylan Thomas Prize: a gorgeously written, fiercely compelling glimpse into the passionate, political world of professional ballet and its magnetic hold over two generations. Astonish Me is the irresistible story of Joan, a ballerina whose life has been shaped by her relationship with the world-famous dancer Arslan Ruskov, whom she helps defect from the Soviet Union to the U.S. While Arslan's career takes off in New York, Joan's slowly declines, ending when she becomes pregnant and decides to marry her longtime admirer, a PhD student named Jacob. As the years pass, Joan settles into her new life in California, teaching dance and watching her son, Harry, become a ballet prodigy himself. But when Harry's success brings him into close contact with Arslan, explosive secrets are revealed that shatter the delicate balance Joan has struck between her past and present. In graceful, inimitable prose, Shipstead draws us into the lives of her lovably tempestuous characters. Filled with intrigue, hilarious satire, and emotional nuance, Astonish Me is a brilliant investigation into the bonds that hold us, despite the distancing of time and geography"-- Provided by publisher.
ISBN: 9780307962904
0307962903
9780345804617
0345804619
9780307962911
Statement of Responsibility: Maggie Shipstead
Subject Headings: Ballerinas Fiction Secrets Fiction FICTION / Family Life. bisacsh FICTION / Family Life FICTION / Contemporary Women
Genre/Form: Domestic fiction
Topical Term: Ballerinas
Secrets
FICTION Family Life
FICTION Family Life
FICTION Contemporary Women
LCCN: 2013026781
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I really enjoyed "Seating Arrangements" and I can't wait to read this one!

Jul 03, 2014
  • madison382 rated this: 3.5 stars out of 5.

After reading this book, I have a better understanding of ballet, and what goes on behind the scene. It was well written, and entertaining as well.

Wonderful character study with very interesting, fully formed characters. I don't care about ballet, but I respect someone's passions and obsessions. I couldn't care less about wine, but I loved the movie "Sideways," so don't pass on this if you don't know a pirouette from a pas de deux. A nice mix of serious drama with plenty of levity. Four stars.

Jun 17, 2014
  • sass35 rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

i love ballet and i love reading about ballet.the beginning started off so interesting.two ballet dancers and the men in there lives than one haves a baby and then it gets a little boring but hang in there towards the end of the book it makes up for it. all and all a very interesting book.

Jun 03, 2014
  • anitafournier rated this: 1 stars out of 5.

Yawn. This book was a total bore. Unless you are a ballerina.

May 13, 2014
  • MARIA E WHELAN rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

I could not put this book down. It was beautifully written, with gorgeous writing and remarkable characters. It lives up to its name.

Apr 20, 2014
  • stephaniedchase rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

A stunning, compact, beautifully written book about secrets, family, and the struggle to shape our lives. Completely different than her more comic debut novel, SEATING ARRANGEMENTS. Features one of the most perfect final chapters I have read in a long while.

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app03 Version Arkelstorp Last updated 2014/10/22 16:24