Astonish Me Free read ↠ 100

Summary ´ PDF, DOC, TXT or eBook ✓ Maggie Shipstead

The years pass Joan comes to understand that ballet isn’t finished with her yet for there is no mistaking that Harry is a prodigy Inevitably Joan is soon pulled back into a world she thought she’d left behind and back to Arsl. 4 STARSHow strange it was that a dream once realized could uickly turn mundane Not everyone can appreciate ballet much less be a fan of it I certainly am not I find the discipline and the artistic egos of those who willingly subject themselves through physical and mental torture to achieve technical perfection intriguing than the actual performance People whose sole point of validation and happiness are the appreciation of others With enough fervour to completely shun complex carbohydrates for extension form and turnout I mean ofcourse I wanna know about these crazy and gorgeous peopleIn the world of dancers ballerinas are rockstars ethereal and breathtaking in their narcissism ”In ballet” she went on “when something’s really beautiful I feel a lot but not happy or sad really Just a feeling With goose bumps I like that” After a moment she sighed and rolled onto her stomach resting her forehead on her arms“If I can’t dance I know I won’t die but it feels like I will” In 1973 a mediocre ballerina from New York meets and falls in love with famed Russian dancer Arslan Ruskov Joan’s tumultuous affair with Arslan begins when he entails her help in his defection to the United States and ends when the discrepancy in their talents and futures in ballet became too evident to ignore She eventually marries her childhood sweetheart Jacob Bintz and retires to California where they raise together their son Harry while she deals with the longing for the extraordinary world that she left behind by teaching ballet Here she lives with the tedium of a reality still stained by a past that she simultaneously yearns and evades envious and catty neighbours starry eyed little girls who want to be like her and a son who turns out to be a ballet prodigy himself Unavoidably Joan’s present and past draws closer and closer with secrets long buried threatening to be unearthed and destroy the happiness she has settled for What I liked most about Astonish Me was that while it already chose a topic that was fascinating to me ie professional ballet in the shadows of the Cold War it still went above and beyond what I expected The story is divided into five parts spanning from 1973 to 2002 told in a non linear manner focusing instead on the evolution of no less than six characters both immersed and outside of that remarkable environment Do not look for fancy twists and heart stopping reveals in this one it makes no claims to be a mystery Whatever unspoken detail this may have harboured from the beginning it never felt like it was belittling my intelligence by claiming it as the point of the story You are EXPECTED to know things This instead focuses on an exhaustive study of or less six individuals tied together by their wants their failures their compromises and where that all leads them toAnd it was gloriousIt’s uite tedious to detail the merits of each character but between Joan and Harry’s story lines the people they evolve and transition with were perfectly layered against each other The delivery was indeed effortlessly elegant Sometimes literary fiction and character studies can get too ostentatious but here the prose had an approachable feel one that you can get lost in without feeling like finishing a chapter is pulling teeth It was as luxuriant as it was enjoyable with wit and humour coming unexpectedly He defends his son and wife fiercely and when she once asked Harry why he couldn’t have a hobby that wasn’t for ueers Jacob had taken her outside and told her she had a choice between being banned from seeing her grandson or shutting up Still he has wondered wonders everyday if Harry is gay All he knows for sure is that his son envies another man’s ballon Oh Jacob you and your unassuming miluetoast sweetness dad jokes and friend zone worthiness There are books that makes you feel a little cheap after reading them this had a plush uality that you just want to wrap around yourself Except maybe Chloe and Arslan’s idea of a “revolutionary” ballet towards the end That felt like an overwrought cliche something right out of the pages of Center Stage’s script Or perhaps its just that I really hated Arslan who was really an unapologetic gonad all throughout but nevertheless did standout in a cast that was already impressiveI’m actually a little disappointed by the lack of an author’s note at the end because I was uite curious about the writing and research process of this book Of how much of Arslan Ruskov was inspired by Mikhail Baryshnikov who also defected into the US through Canada with the help of an American woman and so on But that aside Astonish Me was indeed uite astonishing Sorry I just had to ARC provided by the Random House Knopf uotes taken from uncorrected proof and may not appear in the final editionAlso on BookLIkes

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Astonish MeAstonish Me is the irresistible story of Joan a young American dancer who helps a Soviet ballet star the great Arslan Rusakov defect in A flash of fame and a passionate love affair follow but Joan knows that onstage and off she i. This is not a showy sprawling epic novel instead it is compact and uietly elegant and if I may perfectly choreographed Remnants of my childhood obsession with the movie Center Stage are still floating around so with the combination of ballet and smooth poignant writing it was impossible for me not to love this Astonish Me is told through the eyes of various characters in small vignette chapters but it is primarily Joan's story Mildly talented but without that necessary it factor to become a proper and celebrated professional ballerina Joan lives a life in the corps that is mostly unremarkable Her dancing days are over when she becomes pregnant and marries Jacob who has been devoted to her since high school Their convenient marriage slowly develops into one of love but their son Harry reintroduces another component into the family ballet As he grows so does his talent and this brings Joan and Jacob right back into the dancing world Also entwined in the story are Chloe the neighbours' daughter who is also very interested in the art of ballet Elaine Joan's roommate from the company a far talented soloist turned artistic director and of course Arslan Rusakov Arslan the magical near perfect Russian dancer who defects from Russia after a brief encounter with a young Joan She drives the getaway car falls into an affair with him and has her heart broken and then is brought back into his orbit years later when he becomes Harry's idol and mentor Ranging from the 70s to the early 2000s the story skips back and forth as it presents the very compelling stories of each of these characters and brings them both together and apartThe book is about family and truth and love but it is mostly about ballet and how it takes and takes and takes and gives very little but the dancers do it anyway for the power and the too fleeting glory and the fact that they have given their whole lives to ballet and they wouldn't know what else to do Ballet presents the sliver of hope that one day you might be able to reach perfection Never in her life not once has she danced the way she wishes to but futility has become an accepted companion The ideal that lives beyond the mirror makes teasing flickering appearances but never uite shows itself never solidifies into something that can be looked at and not just glimpsed The novel is a little melodramatic probably purposefully as a parallel to ballet itself And the ending was perfect and sweet and sad and bitter yes I wish I had had time in this absorbing world 232 pages are just not enough but I wouldn't have changed those last couple of paragraphsNow that I'm in love with Maggie Shipstead I'm off to go read Seating Arrangements as soon as possible

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Astonish Me Free read ↠ 100 Ã [Download] ➺ Astonish Me ➿ Maggie Shipstead – Astonish Me is the irresistible story of Joan a young American dancer who helps a Soviet ballet star the great Arslan Rusakov defect in 1975 A flash of fame and a passionate love affair follow but Joa Astonish Me is the irresistiblS destined to remain in the shadowsAfter her relationship with Arslan sours Joan decides to make a new life for herself She uits ballet marries a good man and settles into the rhythm of Californian life with their son Harry But as. This is a graceful novel about professional ballet dancers and the passionate lives they lead It's also about what happens to dancers when they can't dance any —how do you create a new identity if all you've ever known is balletWe first meet Joan in the 1970s an American who is in love with Arslan a Russian dancer who defected to the States But Arslan has left Joan and is going to marry another woman With a broken heart Joan uits ballet and starts a relationship with a longtime friend which feels safer Years later Joan's life becomes entangled with ballet again when her son Harry shows a talent for it The novel jumps back and forth between the 1990s and the 1970s and through flashbacks we see the day that Joan first met Arslan and the day Arslan defected and the day Harry started dancing and many other days It took a few chapters before I was fully engaged in the story but I eventually connected with Joan's character and situation and I'm glad I finished the book The ending of the story is telegraphed back at the beginning and reminds the reader just how passionate dancers can be in their art and in their livesI'd recommend this novel to anyone who enjoys stories from the world of ballet My rating 35 rounded up to 4 stars