Today is my stop on the blog tour for Watch Her Fall by Erin Kelly, and I am excited to be sharing my review with you all.
Swan Lake is divided into the black acts and the white acts. The Prince is on stage for most of the ballet, but it’s the swans audiences flock to see. In early productions, Odette and Odile were performed by two different dancers. These days, it is usual for the same dancer to play both roles. Because of the faultless ballet technique required to master the steps, and the emotional range needed to perform both the virginal Odette and the dark, seductive Odile, this challenging dual role is one of the most coveted in all ballet. Dancers would kill for the part.
Ava Kirilova has reached the very top of her profession. After years and years of hard graft, pain and sacrifice as part of the London Russian Ballet Company, allowing nothing else to distract her, she is finally the poster girl for Swan Lake. Even Mr K – her father, and the intense, terrifying director of the company – can find no fault. Ava has pushed herself ahead of countless other talented, hardworking girls, and they are all watching her now. But there is someone who really wants to see Ava fall …
A Message From The Author:
“Ballerinas look like wisps of cotton but don’t be fooled by that. They’re the toughest people in the world. They are physically almost superhuman, balancing their whole bodyweight on one toe, or jumping so high it looks like they’re on wires, and that takes a lifetime of dedication. I read countless ballet memoirs and learned that dancers’ real lives are often just as heightened as anything you’d find in a thriller. It takes an extraordinary mindset as well as physical talent to make it to the top. Prima ballerinas sacrifice friendships, family and freedom for the job. Ballerinas often grow up in boarding schools then go on to live and socialise almost exclusively with other dancers. They can be ruthless and ambitious yet extraordinarily naïve. The ballerinas in my book are fictional, but the environment they live in, that strange mix of dedication, paranoia and make-believe, is all too real. I can’t wait for you to step into Ava’s world.”
~ Erin Kelly
Ballet has always been something that has interested me, so when Kate @ Hodder & Stoughton got in contact about Watch Her Fall, I immediately signed up for the blog tour. A combination of ballet, and my favourite genre to read (thriller), how could I resist?
As a child, I always wanted to give ballet a try, but because of other commitments, I never got the chance. But, in a way I’m glad of that, because the ballet world is TOUGH, and this book certainly highlights that fact. Although this is a work of fiction, I felt that it gives a really interesting insight in to the real life world of ballet that none of the audience gets to see.
Professional ballet dancers are incredibly dedicated, strong, and determined, and they will do absolutely anything to get to the top. Being cast as the leading lady in Swan Lake is probably the biggest role in ballet, and it must come with an immense amount of pressure, so it’s no wonder that Ava becomes completely paranoid after being cast for the roles of Odette and Odile. I felt so sorry for her, because she waited her whole life for this moment, but because of the weight of the roles that she is carrying on her shoulders, especially with the added pressure of doing justice to her father’s vision, she doesn’t get the chance to actually enjoy the feeling of all of her dreams coming true.
Swan Lake has always been one of my favourite ballets, and this book leans more towards the darker side of the story, which I absolutely love. It gives off major Black Swan vibes (which is a fantastic movie)! Stepping away from the theatre, and the darkness of this story intensifies tenfold. I was hooked, and I didn’t want to put the book down. There are a few different character stories along the way, each of which is gripping in its own right, and has you desperately wanting answers. The way these characters stories come together at the end is unbelievably well written, and exciting. This book has more twists and spins to it than the ballet itself. There were so many shocking moments, that I still can’t get over.
Much like Swan Lake, Watch Her Fall captivates you with its beauty, only for you to peel away the feathers to reveal the darkness within that was being so cleverly disguised. This book was everything I had hoped for and a million times more, and I loved every second of it. It is probably my favourite book of the year so far! This was my first time reading anything by Erin Kelly, but it certainly won’t be my last.
I give Watch Her Fall a 5 star rating!
Again, I want to say a big thank you to Hodder & Stoughton, and Erin Kelly for allowing me to be a part of this tour, and for providing me with a copy of the book, in exchange for an honest review.
About The Author:
Erin Kelly is one of the most well respected and critically acclaimed voices in the crime writing community. She is the Sunday Times bestselling author of The Poison Tree, The Sick Rose, The Burning Air, The Ties That Bind, He Said/She Said, Stone Mothers and Broadchurch: The Novel, inspired by the mega-hit TV series.
In 2013 The Poison Tree became a major ITV drama and was a Richard & Judy Summer Read in 2011. He Said/She Said spent six weeks in the top ten in both hardback and paperback, was longlisted for the Theakston’s Old Peculier crime novel of the year award, and selected for both the Simon Mayo Radio 2 and Richard & Judy Book Clubs.
She has worked as a freelance journalist since 1998 and written for publications including the Guardian, The Sunday Times, Daily Mail, New Statesman, Red, Elle and Cosmopolitan. She teaches creative writing for Curtis Brown Creative and Guardian masterclasses.
Born in London in 1976, she lives in north London with her husband and daughters.
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