ASTONISH ME, by Maggie Shipstead, is her second novel. I’ve been waiting anxiously for it. I loved SEATING ARRANGEMENTS, her first very successful novel set on a fictitious island off the coast of New England. It was full of witty writing and characters that could very well have been right out of anyone’s family.
Now with ASTONISH ME, Shipstead is bringing us a story of ballet, defection, desire, and betrayal. All the behind-the-scenes of the world of dance. And she has even created a character quite like an infamous male ballet dancer from the real world of dance.
The characters in ASTONISH ME act like real people. The writing is easy to read. Glides right off the page. Shipstead has written with real depth and feeling. She’s made bold decisions and executed them brilliantly. Brave.
There’s nothing I like more than a story of lies and consequence. Secrets hidden in plain sight. I kept thinking I wanted to tell one character “the truth.” How could this person NOT know what was happening?
When I was in grade school my mom enrolled me in ballet. I was clumsy and she thought this would help me be more graceful. Not so much, but I will say I learned how to stand tall with my head up; no slouching. But I did get a glimpse into the world of ballet for a couple years. I loved the costumes. My teacher was a retired prima ballet from Russia. Her name was Lanada. I was not inspired to be a dancer, however, I do find the art of dance to be intriguing.
Grab your copy of ASTONISH ME by Maggie Shipstead. Be prepared to be wowed. It is psychologically intense, provocative, and the perfect read for summer.
My gorgeous finished hard copy arrived compliments Knoff publishing. Thank you ever so much!