Ballet Family by Jean Estoril
When Joan's mother suddenly and unexpectedly passes away, she's taken from her Northern England home to her aunt and uncle's house in London. Her aunt is a famous ballet dancer, her uncle conducts the orchestra of the same ballet company, their oldest child has just joined the corps of the company and the younger three are all students at the company school.
Joan cannot understand their ballet-obsessed world, and the family, especially Anne, who's closest to Joan in age, cannot understand someone from so backwards a place as Rochdale and lacks the culture and sophistication to truly understand ballet.
Overall, it's a story of both sides kinda meeting in the middle to find peace, but honestly, the Garland family were absolutely horrible to Joan when she arrived. They're so self-obsessed and wrapped up in their own world that no one gave her time to properly mourn her mother and their whole attitude about her lack of knowledge and interest in ballet was "well, you'll learn." It was a bit appalling actually.
I do like though that there are two protagonists that we follow, Joan and Anne. I also liked the subplot of Delphine, the youngest child who is horribly spoiled and, frankly, a bit like Queenie Rothington for those who've read the Drina books. She's painted as a horrible attention hog with an overly inflated sense of self, but at the same time, she's always been told she's the best and she's part of this near-mythical ballet dynasty and she's the very youngest, and I think a lot of her actions are actually driven by fear that she's not good enough, not worthy of her last name.
I'm off to read the sequel.
Book Provided by... my wallet. I own it.
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