Saturday, October 25, 2014

Review: The Art of Falling by Kathryn Craft

I liked this book a lot. Very well written. I wasn't sure what to expect from it - I put off reading it because I thought it was another "new adult" romance. It isn't at all. It's actually a very thoughtful story about a woman dealing with what might be the end of her dance career, and figuring out what she wants and needs in life. More about forming important bonds with family and friends and not a romance story.

Penny ends up in a hospital bed and she's told that she jumped off the balcony in a suicide attempt.  She's certain she wouldn't do that, but at the same time, she isn't sure what happened.  As she recovers from her fall, and bits of her past are revealed it becomes clear to the reader and to Penny that she was in a very dark place before she fell and landed on the baker's car under her apartment.

She spent her whole life dancing, trying to fit into a world that had no place for someone with her body type.  Despite all her work, she's horrified by reviews which describe her as "huge" - her presence on the stage assumed to be a contrast to the smaller dancers.  Even worse than the reviews was being left behind by her lover who used her to create his show but didn't need her anymore when he was ready to go on tour.

The story isn't simply about her size and her struggles with her weight, or even her struggles within the dance world.  As she is forced to leave dance in order to recover physically, she also begins to repair her inner self.  She sees the damage she's caused herself as well as the emptiness in her life.  She forms a deep friendship with her roommate from the hospital, as well as the baker, on whose car she landed.  She starts to see the world from a different perspective.

The characters are so well written, this is the sort of book that when it was over, I felt an emptiness.  I missed them.  I wondered what they were doing now, because they felt so real I knew their existence wasn't gone simply because the book had ended.

I'd recommend this book to anyone looking for a thoughtful story about a woman putting her life back together after thinking all of her dreams have fallen apart.

I received a review copy via NetGalley.

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