Monday, January 29, 2024

Book Review: Other Stages

By Melissa Smoot

Katrina Devries, having navigated the cutthroat world of professional ballet to arrive at the top, has found the perfect life as a principal dancer and mother of a three-year-old. But when her partner announces he’s found true love elsewhere and moves out, Katrina’s perfect world begins to crack. Devastated, she turns to April, her best friend among the company’s artistic staff.

April, a seasoned ballet master and parent, is confident she can solve any problem thrown her way and plants a distraction at the studios: a handsome young pianist, eager for work as an accompanist. Only it’s April’s teen daughter, not Katrina, who falls for him, hard. (Synopsis courtesy of Amazon.)

I knew that I would enjoy this book because it is mainly about the professional ballet world, but I had no idea that it would have so many different layers. 

The story takes place in San Francisco and centers around the West Coast Ballet Theater. The main character and a Principal dancer at the company, Katrina Devries, has just had her world turned upside down, when she suddenly finds herself to be a single mother. She runs to her best friend April, who is a ballet master at the company, and she tries to help Katrina navigate this new reality. In the meantime, April’s discovers her youngest daughter is hiding something that could change her family forever. 

The twists and turns in this story were plentiful and I was riveted wondering where the characters would all end up. The author did a great job of capturing the nuances of the different personalities and egos in professional ballet, as well as tied in the ups and downs of relationships of any kind. I found myself reading late into the night to find out what would happen next. Whether you are a ballet aficionado or not, this book is so much more than that. I would recommend this to anyone looking for a relationship-centric story that also keeps you in suspense.

Thanks to Terez Mertes Rose for the book in exchange for an honest review. You can purchase Other Stages here. (Book four in the Ballet Theatre Chronicles, but can be read as a standalone.)

More by Terez Mertes Rose:

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1 comment:

Terez Mertes Rose said...

Thank you so much for this wonderful review!