The Cranes Dance

  • by Meg Howrey
  • Narrated by Justine Eyre
  • 11 hrs and 41 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

I threw my neck out in the middle of Swan Lake tonight.
So begins the tale of Kate Crane, a soloist in a celebrated New York City ballet company. Kate is struggling to keep her place in a very demanding world, a world she can’t help satirizing even as she balances injury and self-doubt to maintain her place within it. At every turn she is haunted by her close relationship with her younger sister, Gwen, a fellow company dancer whose career quickly surpassed Kate’s but who has recently suffered a breakdown and returned home to Michigan.
Alone for the first time in her life, Kate is anxious and full of guilt about the role she played in her sister’s collapse. As we follow her on an insider tour of rehearsals, performances, and partners onstage and off, she confronts the tangle of love, jealousy, pride, and obsession that are beginning to fracture her own sanity.
Funny, dark, intimate, and unflinchingly honest, The Cranes Dance is a book that pulls back the curtains to reveal the private lives of dancers and explores the complicated bond between sisters.

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What the Critics Say

“Smart, witty, and wise, Meg Howrey’s impressive debut novel is a beautiful story that in its subtlety speaks to the fundamental questions of identity and love.” (James Lapine, Pulitzer Prize-winning author, on Blind Sight)
“A warm and surprising debut.” (New York Times on Blind Sight)
“From The Red Shoes to Black Swan, Hollywood has provided unforgettable portrayals of the ballet world’s grisliness as well as its glamour. At last, The Cranes Dance brings this enchanting world alive in literature but with tremendous wit, flair, and psychological insight.”(Caroline Weber, author of Queen of Fashion)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Made Me Want More

Engaging slice of life drama about Kate, a New York company ballet soloist dealing with a neck injury, the lack of her ever-present sister, and the guilt that maybe her sister's predicament is partly her fault.

The book starts you out in present day, but the story dips into flashbacks as Kate experiences something that triggers a memory. As the book goes along, my hunger to know the whole story grows with each tantalizing bit of information. At the end, I was so engaged with the characters that I wanted more. It does end rather swiftly, but not in a bad way. I feel like it mimicked Kate's sudden jerk out of her downward spiral pretty well, though I did wish for more details on the aftermath.

If you don't like slice of life books, following around one person during their day to day lives and privy to everything going on inside of their head, then you probably wouldn't like this book. I found the dip into a ballet dancer's life interesting, but it is a repetitive and constant backdrop in the story for those who aren't interested in the subject. It also deals with the same day to day air the topic of dependence on pharmaceutical drugs and mental illness.

The narrator was a fantastic for this book! She matched Kate's sardonic speech perfectly, with bored sounding overtones switching to passionate outbursts in perfect sync with the character.
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- Crystal

One of the best!

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Beautifully written story, excellent detail, believable characters.


What did you like best about this story?

Depth of characters and dramatic tension kept me engaged all the way through.


Which character – as performed by Justine Eyre – was your favorite?

Main character (narrator) had a wonderful mix of insight and blindspots.


Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Yes.


Any additional comments?

Would love to read more from this author.

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- Samantha

Book Details

  • Release Date: 05-15-2012
  • Publisher: Blackstone Audio, Inc.