Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Review: The Melting Season

This review was written by Alice Herold

The reader quickly discovers The Melting Season was written by someone who loves ballet. The author, Celeste Conway, explains ballet terms and tells us about famous ballets and dancers through the eyes and ears of Giselle, a fictional teen-age dancer. Giselle is the daughter of Marina Parke-Vanova, a famous dancer and Grigori Vanov, a dance historian.

This book is about a developing love between Giselle and a boy named Will whom she meets at a plant and garden shop. They both share deep secrets about their fathers. Will's father is scarred emotionally when he returns from the war and Giselle's father was sent away to die alone in a hospice. Giselle blames her mother for sending her father away. Giselle is jealous of the immigrant cab driver who transports her around New York. She says, "I bet in his village when someone got sick, the family made soup and gathered around and kept him close." Near the end of the book, we discover why her father was sent away. (It was at his own request.)

This book was written for older children, (12+ years) as teen-age angst is at its center. Giselle says, "I could walk through crowds of people, millions of them really, and feel totally alone, like a Martian lobster from outer space."
Editorial comment from Kelly here: This is a truly lovely cover, don't you think?