Ballerina, Edward Stewart

Many thanks to Schatzi for the recommendation; I enjoyed it so much.  Ballerina is about these two girls, Christine and Stephanie, who are dancers in the same ballet school; upon graduation, they wind up in separate ballet companies but remain quite close.  Stephanie has a crazy stage mother who ditched ballet For a Man, and Christine, who is rich, has some sort of medical Condition, severe social anxiety, and parents who never come to see her dance.  There are lots of bitchy gay dancers and a slutty Russian guy that Christine and Stephanie get into a big fight over.  Heeheehee, it is fun.

The girls struggle to fit in with their respective ballet companies.  The head of Christine’s company used to know Stephanie’s mother, and he’s always doing these Machiavellian things in order to screw around with Stephanie’s head.  There’s a lawyer with a crush on Christine, but she doesn’t love him back because he doesn’t understand ballet.  All sorts of things happen, y’all.  It is crazy all the things that can happen in a ballet company.

I was in the mood for something ridiculously trashy.  I have been reading lots of Gothic and vampirey and generally dark books lately, and that’s been fun, but it was nice to have a break with the Noel Streatfeild and with Ballerina.  I didn’t understand why Stephanie carried on being friends with Christine.  Christine was awful.  She was all clingy and irresponsible, and even when she wasn’t being clingy, she hardly ever did a nice thing for Stephanie.  I would have moved out years ago, but for some reason Stephanie carries on being friends despite Christine’s insane neediness.

At the end – may I spoil it for you?  I am going to spoil it for you – at the end Christine and Stephanie have this enormous fight because Stephanie had an affair with the Russian man-slut that Christine was in love with and lost her virginity to and then he stopped calling her and had an affair with Stephanie instead.  And Christine’s all, Oh you knew I truly loved him, how could you betray me? and Stephanie’s all, Get over your pathetic crush on him, and then they decide they hate each other forever.  They even have a feud thing going on that reminds me of the walk-off in Zoolander.  But – but, but, but! – shortly thereafter it turns out that Christine has neglected her Medical Condition and now only has a few months to live.  And Stephanie nobly for the sake of their friendship gives up her star part in Sleeping Beauty so that Christine can have this one night of glory before she like, goes off and dies.

I could complain about sloppy characterization and silly plotlines, but what would be the point?  I believe that’s why I decided to read it in the first place.  I love a silly book about ballet.

What are some trashy books you enjoy, when you need a break from serious things?

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9 thoughts on “Ballerina, Edward Stewart

  1. I only ever read one book about ballet, and it was a children’s novel about a boy who wanted to dance. It was quite lovely- although there were plenty of crazy people in the ballet school, too! Called Thursday’s Children, by Rumer Godden. Ever heard of it?

    • I love that book so much, seriously. Rumer Godden’s ballet books tend to be my favorites of hers – Thursday’s Children, Listen to the Nightingale, A Candle for St. Jude. A Candle for St. Jude is really wonderful actually; if you ever get a chance to read it, do.

  2. I don’t think I noticed it when I was younger, but damn, Christine was all kinds of crazy! I felt so bad for that one nice lawyer guy who liked her so much.

    Glad you enjoyed it!

    • I know! What was her problem? I have no idea what Stephanie or the lawyer guy saw in her. In my heart of hearts I did not care that she was doomed to death. 😛 But I liked the slutty Russian dancer, Sasha.

  3. Ooh, thanks! I’ve read handfuls of other Rumer Godden books looking for one as good as Thursday’s Children, and they all fell flat for me. I was starting to give up. Never heard of those other titles- now I have to try (if I can find them, my library has no Godden at all).

    • I find that as a rule, her kids’ books are best. I loved all her books about dolls when I was a kid (and still now!) – Miss Happiness and Miss Flower, and its sequel Little Plum, and then Candy Floss and The Fairy Doll were also very wonderful, and my most favorite of her kids’ books, The Doll’s House. What did you read by her and not like?

  4. Pingback: Wrapping up 2009 « Jenny's Books

  5. Hello! I know this is an old post but i just stumbled upon it as i was looking up the author of “Ballerina”. I just did a post on ballet books on my own blog (which, like yours, is all about books. Do visit sometime if you feel like it).I completely agree with you. This book is so much fun. The best kind of trashy novel! 🙂

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