Book Review: The Ballerinas by Rachel Kapelke-Dale

Posted November 29, 2021 by WendyW in Book Review, Uncategorized / 16 Comments

The Ballerinas
The Ballerinas
One StarOne StarOne StarOne Star

by Rachel Kapelke-Dale
Publication Date December 7, 2021
Published by St. Martin's Publishing Group
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Genres: Fiction / Friendship, Fiction / Thrillers / Suspense, Fiction / Women
Pages: 304
Format: ARC

Dare Me meets Black Swan and Luckiest Girl Alive in a captivating, voice-driven debut novel about a trio of ballerinas who meet as students at the Paris Opera Ballet School.

Thirteen years ago, Delphine abandoned her prestigious soloist spot at the Paris Opera Ballet for a new life in St. Petersburg––taking with her a secret that could upend the lives of her best friends, fellow dancers Lindsay and Margaux. Now 36 years old, Delphine has returned to her former home and to the legendary Palais Garnier Opera House, to choreograph the ballet that will kickstart the next phase of her career––and, she hopes, finally make things right with her former friends. But Delphine quickly discovers that things have changed while she's been away...and some secrets can't stay buried forever.

Moving between the trio's adolescent years and the present day, Rachel Kapelke-Dale's The Ballerinas explores the complexities of female friendship, the dark drive towards physical perfection in the name of artistic expression, the double-edged sword of ambition and passion, and the sublimated rage that so many women hold inside––all culminating in a twist you won't see coming, with magnetic characters you won't soon forget.

My Review:

This book was very interesting.  I love a book that can transport me into a new world, one that I know nothing about.  It’s an intense, gritty look into the very competitive world of ballet. 

The book is written about three young ballerinas who begin as students and then rise through the ranks of the Paris Opera Ballet.  It’s written in the first person by the main character Delphine.  She tells us about her life and the relationship with her two best friends, Lindsey and Margeaux.  The book goes back and forth in time, starting from when they met as young teenage ballet students to modern times when they are 36 years old. 

The book covers their hopes, dreams, trials, and tribulations as the three climb the ranks of the highly competitive ballet world.  

I found the book to be full of interesting facts about the ballet world, and found it fascinating how these women were able to compete, dance, and remain friends through the years.  

This book is not a romance, however, it is a love story.  A story of these women and their love and affection for each other.  The story has a strong feminist outlook, which I liked very much.  I received a complimentary copy of this book.  The opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

16 responses to “Book Review: The Ballerinas by Rachel Kapelke-Dale

  1. Wonderful review Wendy. It sounds like a great story about friendship and all the stuff that comes with it. The world of ballet does fascinate me. My question is about the pacing. I have the audiobook of this one, but don’t want to listen to it on my long ride to Florida if it is too slow, as I need to stay awake. 😉

  2. I enjoyed this one too. It was so interesting to see how far the need to be successful in the ballet world woud take them.

  3. I find the ballet world fascinating, and love reading about it. I will definitely be adding this one to my TBR list. 🙂

  4. Aww, this sounds lovely. I like books about platonic types of love.

    I’ve read that being a ballerina is pretty physically gruelling. You need to be in great shape to do it (professionally, at least)!