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Book Review

Publisher's Note:

From London to Corsica to Paris--as a young woman pursues the truth about her late mother, two captivating love stories unfurl. Kate Darling's enigmatic mother--a once-famous ballerina--has passed away, leaving Kate bereft. When her grandmother falls ill and bequeaths to Kate a small portrait of a woman who bears a striking resemblance to Kate's mother, Kate uncovers a mystery that may upend ev…

Overall Book Review:

A love story inside a history. This book is a wonderful and sorrowful story. The combination of this being a story about a ballerina, books, identity, and family history made this book a great read. I am drawn to books about the competitive world of ballerina’s, and although this book doesn’t focus on that aspect, it does mention it off and on. I also like books about lives of artists, and guess what? This book offers a lot about that.

Kate Darling, one of the protagonists, is an interesting main character, mostly because she is on a journey to discover a hidden secret. Things became a little confusing at times, because this book has several “main characters” who are all related in some way. I always have a difficult time with books like this because I become mixed up with who I am reading about and where they are in their lives–and in the story.

This book was a wonderful way to live vicariously through the characters and get a peek at what it would be like to live a life of mystery and travel. I could relate to some of the things the characters were going through, especially discoveries about histories of their families. I find myself wondering what it is I don’t know about the past, and what kinds of lives my relatives lived. This book made my imagination run wild, and made me want to read more from this author.

Content Analysis:

Profanity/Language: 1 religious exclamation; 1 scatological word.

Violence/Gore:  An execution is mentioned; blood loss is mentioned in an injury; rumors of a suicide attempt is made; a character is rescued from drowning; a character is reported to die; a child is abandoned; a woman in a car crash is pregnant and mentioned to lose the baby; someone’s fiance dies in a car crash; a character is mentioned to die from a stroke; a girl rips her skin and is mentioned to bleed a little; a character incurs a slight injury and some blood is mentioned; war hostages are mentioned to be murdered and shot; an adult is mentioned to kill him/herself; a man hits another man on the head and the victim collapses; death from an overdose of drugs is mentioned; prison camp conditions are described in brief detail.

Sex/Nudity:  A woman is mentioned to be pregnant before marriage; a woman is swimming and is self-conscious because a man is watching her; a man and woman kiss; a pair of gay men are mentioned to embrace; a drawing of a nude is mentioned; men are mentioned to experiment sexually; men are mentioned to be “sex starved”; a man paints a nude woman in a non-sexual way; a man and woman swim nude with no description; a man imagines a woman nude; a “surprise pregnancy” is mentioned; a character is mentioned to be sleeping around; an adult couple kisses; a man and woman undress and lie in bed together, some sexual activity occurs without explicit detail; a woman’s breast is seen briefly; sex between a man and a woman is briefly described.

Mature Subject Matter:

War, death, suicide, personal crises, sexual identity issue, pregnancy out of wedlock.

Alcohol / Drug Use:

Death from an overdose is mentioned; whiskey is drunk by adults; a man smokes a pipe; a woman gets drunk; champagne; characters smoke cigarettes; a character is mentioned to be drunk.

Overall Book Rating

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About the Reviewer

Books and reading have always been an important part of my life. When I was very young, my grandma was the library director at our local public library. Years later, after she had retired, I became a librarian at the same library and worked there for several years before taking a part-time job at a local coffee shop, which gives me more time to do what I love, to read and to review books! A few of my favorite authors are Aimee Bender, Diane Chamberlain, and Curtis Sittenfeld however, I will read almost any book I come across! In my spare time you can find me reading (of course), volunteering at a wildlife animal rehab, or hanging out with my two house rabbits.