The Cranes Dance by Meg Howrey

79%

20 Critic Reviews

Kate is an ideal guide to an unfamiliar world, from her irreverent explanations of her ballets...to her relatable self-doubt and honesty. Her revelations about family, talent, and what makes us special create a thought-provoking and entertaining read.
-Publishers Weekly

Synopsis

 I threw my neck out in the middle of Swan Lake last night.

So begins the tale of Kate Crane, a soloist in a celebrated New York City ballet company who is struggling to keep her place in a very demanding world. 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.
 
Alone for the first time in her life, Kate is anxious and full of guilt about the role she may have 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.
 

About Meg Howrey

See more books from this Author
Meg Howrey was a professional dancer and actress. She currently lives in Los Angeles.
 
Published May 15, 2012 by Vintage. 386 pages
Genres: Other, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Literature & Fiction. Fiction
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Critic reviews for The Cranes Dance
All: 20 | Positive: 18 | Negative: 2

Publishers Weekly

Excellent
Feb 27 2012

Kate is an ideal guide to an unfamiliar world, from her irreverent explanations of her ballets...to her relatable self-doubt and honesty. Her revelations about family, talent, and what makes us special create a thought-provoking and entertaining read.

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Entertainment Weekly

Excellent
Reviewed by Stephan Lee on May 11 2012

The Cranes Dance is an addictive, absorbing take on competition and sisterhood.

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The Maine Edge

Excellent
Reviewed by Allen Adams on May 17 2012

“The Cranes Dance” is a heartfelt and heartbreaking work. Howrey’s prose reflects the balletic nature of the book - she provides a willing and talented partner with whom the reader might dance.

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4 Dancers.org

Excellent
Reviewed by Emily Long on Apr 17 2012

At the close of Howrey’s novel I wanted one thing and one thing only: more of it!

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Dance Advantage

Excellent
Reviewed by Heather Desaulniers on Mar 20 2012

Meg Howrey’s second book, “the Cranes Dance”, is a must-have for every dance library and a must-read if you love a great novel.

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S. Krishna's Books

Good
Reviewed by Swapna Krishna on Sep 12 2012

The book is graceful and nuanced, taking the reader through the daily life of a ballet dancer...It’s a wonderful glimpse into a different world, and Howrey does an incredible job explaining things to readers unfamiliar with the ballet world.

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It's Either Sadness or Euphoria

Good
May 19 2012

Kate and Gwen's relationship is a very complex one, and Howrey straddles a fine line between who did the hurting and who wound up hurt. It's a very enjoyable and compelling read...

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Tiny Library

Good
Reviewed by Sam on May 17 2012

As Kate descended more into anxiety and extreme emotion, I was right there with her. Howrey described her emotions and thought processes so beautifully that I was completely swept along with and invested in Kate.

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At Home With Books

Below average
Reviewed by Alyce on May 14 2012

I kept reading despite multiple uses of the “c” word. While the profanity wasn’t on every page, it was present enough for me to wish it away, like an annoying fly buzzing around my head.

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My Books. My Life.

Good
Reviewed by Michelle on Jun 11 2012

This book opens with a snarky description of Swan Lake. From that moment, I knew I was in for a treat.

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Chicks Dig Books

Good
Reviewed by Jen on Apr 01 2012

Slowly this book explores the relationship between Kate and Gwen, a relationship marked by love and jealousy. With fascinating insight into the world of professional ballet, The Cranes Dance is a compelling read.

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Ageless Pages Reviews

Below average
Reviewed by Jessie on Apr 02 2012

...her voice is fresh, lively and pretty damn amusing.... when the book beings. By about page 275, Kate's appeal had begun to break down. As the blurb suggests, Kate's hold on life and sanity waxes and wanes, and for a while things gotta kinda dull and preachy.

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The Story Girl

Good
Aug 15 2012

I think The Cranes Dance was able to convey a message of hope to those struggling with mental health issues without sugarcoating the issue.

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Charlotte's Web of Books

Good
Reviewed by Charlotte Naylor on Jul 14 2012

The Crane's Dance is a good book for anyone who dreamed of being a ballerina as a young girl. You can live vicariously through Kate without having to give up your couch potato status

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Crowding the Book Truck

Good
Reviewed by Caroline on May 15 2012

The book is filled with great details of the ballet world, but it felt like the book was written by a writer who once danced rather than a dancer who writes. The characters are skillfully created and the story builds nicely.

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Axe for the Frozen Sea

Good
Reviewed by Lila Swistek-Gustavus on Jul 12 2012

...another side of The Cranes Dance that makes this novel so appealing, is the beautiful writing. It's sharp, it's simple and when you think there's not much meaning to it, all of a sudden you discover there are layers of meaning...

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Elizabeth Willse

Good
Reviewed by Elizabeth Willse on Jul 08 2012

...I really like Kate’s narrative voice, with its grasp of that world in all its strange potential for humor.

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Cresta McGowan

Good
Reviewed by Cresta McGowan on Jul 18 2012

As a dancer, I loved that as I was reading I was doing ballet warm-ups with the classes in my head and often adagio across the floor. It was good for my mind and my memory of a craft I once called my own.

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Don't Mind the Mess

Good
May 04 2012

Kate lets you in on the injuries and jealousies that happen backstage. The beaten up feet and the bottles of Vicodin. The drama is high and you don’t have to know what an arabesque is to enjoy it.

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Books Are Fabulous

Good
May 07 2012

It was a fabulous read. If you want to read a book about sisters dealing with mental illness and are curious about how the ballet world, then works this the book for you.

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Reader Rating for The Cranes Dance
81%

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Jackie Jones

Jackie Jones 5 Sep 2013

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