(Legend Press, Oct 2012.)
Yelena is a Ukrainian Ballerina who is brilliant but flawed. She has come to the UK to fulfill her dream and dance one of Ballet’s most prestigious roles: Giselle.
Yelena soon meets Noah – a writer visiting the school whilst researching for his new book and both of them are soon on a journey of discovery. Life then takes an unexpected turn and the two of them begin writing letters to each other. During this process, Yelena visits dark areas of her life and her past soon catches up with her.
I found this book surprising. If I’m honest, I did struggle through the first few pages but I am glad I stuck with it as I found it to be a beautifully written story with convincing characters and a good if sometimes heartbreaking plot. Written from Yelena’s point of view, it explores her story in letters from her to Noah. I’ve found that I also wanted to read Noah’s replies too.
Yelena’s journey is compelling and I found that I did want everything to work out for her. There is information about the Ballet world within the book but it doesn’t weight down the overall plot. After struggling through at the beginning, the further into the story I got, I found that I couldn’t put it down.
Overall, a great novel from Mankowski.
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