Jumping right in to my first review for my very first Cannonball Read! I am a librarian by trade, and I talk a lot about books. I’m hoping that the Cannonball will help me get into the habit of writing more about what I’m reading!
This was my first Megan Abbott, and definitely a slow burn. Our main characters are Dara and Marie Durant, sisters, and Dara’s husband, Charlie. All three are co-proprietors of Durant School of Dance, and they also live together in the slightly moldering Durant family house. Dara and Marie teach ballet, and Charlie, who had to give up dance due to injury, runs the business side of the school. Ballet is everything, and it’s Nutcracker season, which makes the disruption caused by a fire in one of the studios even more disruptive. Then, enter The Contractor, upending the Durants’ lives and sowing chaos in his wake…
There’s lots going on in this book, though I’m not sure all of it really worked for me. I was expecting more of a thriller, and what I got was something darker, and much harder to define. I found the dance stuff compelling – that singular obsession that serious artists have. The Durant sisters have been steeped in ballet practically since birth, and their lives revolve around dance. I think the author was probably trying to make some kind of statement about how that laser focus impacts your life, decision making, relationships…but that piece didn’t really land for me. Like, the title is a metaphor, but I can’t quite articulate what for.
But the plot really starts moving in the last third of the book, and you start to see how all of the little pieces the author has seeded through the beginning start to come to fruition. I was really turning pages to get to the end, it’s just a shame that the same intensity wasn’t really present from the beginning.