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S. Henley "Reader" (Melbourne, Australia)

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Ballet for Laura (Seagull Library)
Ballet for Laura (Seagull Library)
by Linda Blake
Edition: Hardcover

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ballet school in 1965 London - a rewarding look at an unusual world, 13 Sep 2009
I loved this book when I first received it as a ballet prize in 1965, and after rereading it innumerable times since then, I love it still. The book is well plotted and written, and the characters are quite resonant even when lightly sketched. Although aimed at young teenage girls, this novel was probably the trigger to my lifelong fascination with the observation of the behaviours of the people around me.
The characters, even though they are at first glance typically steroptypical, actually work at quite deep levels. You know the story - shy, self conscious though gifted, young ballet scholarship girl Laura, accidentally falls foul of the rich, gifted and beautiful, yet spiteful, older student Connie. Friendships and enmities develop. Laura somehow befriends the school misfit Scott (one of Connie's contemporaries and victims), who also is gifted, yet with an horrendous temper and a maligned repuation; and together they solve a school mystery, rescue both their reputations (and thus futures) from Connie's current machinations.
And they actually learn from their experiences.
Linda Blake's writing has captured the naiveity of early and mid teens as well as the at times blindly self obsessive passions and behaviours. The insularity of this ballet school world sharpens the behavioural foci, and consequences, and the key characters stand out against a very well conceived supporting cast.

This book is a lovely read when you feel like a bit of nostalgic time travel to times in our pasts that were full of possibility and small but crucial adventures.

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