Monday, April 22, 2013

Mini ReView of THE CRANES DANCE by Meg Howrey




Genre: Contemporary/Literary Fiction
Format: Paperback
Length: 373 pages
Publisher: Vintage Books
First Published: 2012




I'm not sure I read this book because I wanted to read it. It was more because the title intrigued me.  The Cranes Dance?  Only to realize that 'the Cranes' were the sisters.  Anyway, here is what the book is about.

" I threw my neck out in the middle of Swan Lake last night.
So begins the tale of Kate Crane, a soloist in a celebrated New York City ballet company who is struggling to keep her place in a very demanding world. At every turn she is haunted by her close relationship with her younger sister, Gwen, a fellow company dancer whose career quickly surpassed Kate’s, but who has recently suffered a breakdown and returned home.

Alone for the first time in her life, Kate is anxious and full of guilt about the role she may have played in her sister’s collapse.  As we follow her on an insider tour of rehearsals, performances, and partners onstage and off, she confronts the tangle of love, jealousy, pride, and obsession that are beginning to fracture her own sanity. Funny, dark, intimate, and unflinchingly honest, The Cranes Dance is a book that pulls back the curtains to reveal the private lives of dancers and explores the complicated bond between sisters.
" (GoodReads)

Sometimes I wondered, just as many others probably did, is the narrative's voice abrasive, sarcastic, or self-pitying?  Well, maybe, possibly.  I think so, at times.

Enter two girls.  Gwen, who has an undiagnosed mental illness.  Kate lives in her sister's apartment, and among other things begins to live the life her sister has left behind to undergo treatment. 

The relationship between Gwen and Kate are of sisterly love but also of two best friends who know each other too well. 

Kate, though, is a character who never tries to cover her insecurities.  She's honest and has a really quarky sense of humour about life.  Even though she wears Gwen's clothes, sleeps in her bed, and plays the roles her sister would have played, she nevertheless has her own sense of self. 

It's actually a very powerful story of sisters and friendship where one individual seems to be in the shadow of the other but isn't. 





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