I’m always a little late to the game when it comes to books. I don’t usually read them when they first come out but months or years later. That is most definitely the case with Astonish Me by Maggie Shipstead.
‘A principal dancer at the Kirov Ballet, Arslan Rusakov’s superb talent and magnetic stage presence have earned him international acclaim and marked him as a national asset to be protected at all costs. Status and success cannot replace artistic freedom, however, and Rusakov risks everything by making a daring defection. The star-struck ballerina he encountered in Paris, Joan, acts as his accomplice, delivering him to a new home in the United States. Joan, who knows she lacks the talent to advance beyond the corps de ballet, finds that Arslan’s enormous gifts as a dancer are the ultimate seduction.
When their relationship eventually sours, Joan is determined to find fulfillment outside of the world of ballet and plots to make a new life for herself. She marries a good man, and they settle in California with their son, Harry.
Despite her intentions otherwise, Joan soon comes to understand that ballet isn’t quite finished with her. As her young son develops an extraordinary talent that proves impossible to ignore, Joan is pulled back into a world she thought she’d left behind, back into dangerous old secrets, and back into Arslan’s orbit.’
Being from a dance background the magical world of ballet always interests me and I think that’s what pulled me in to reading it.
Plot: It didn’t thrill me enough to read it in one day but it was a slow easy read that I quite enjoyed.
Cover: I know you aren’t supposed to judge a book by it’s cover but I love talking about them purely from a design standpoint. I love this cover because it feels dainty with the ribbons and handwritten title.
(Picture and summary of book were used from Maggie Shipstead’s website)