Friday, June 19, 2009
Some Comfort Reading
Adele Geras' books have become another form of comfort reading for me. Thick, long stories spanning many years, somewhat melodramatic, with romance and hidden secrets. Yep, that's what I like in a comfort read.
Hester's Story is the third of Geras' books that I have read. The story goes back and forth from Hester's youth to her life as a middle aged woman. Hester had an unhappy childhood, losing her mother at a young age and then being shuttled off to live with relatives in England. She never felt that she fit in anywhere until Madame Olga came to town and Hester discovered a passion for ballet. Hester is gifted and spends time in London becoming a prima ballerina until an affair with the wrong man changes the course of her life.
As a middle aged woman, Hester lives in an estate called Wychwood and supervises a special ballet performance that occurs there annually. As the story opens, the dancers and choreographers descend on Wychwood and of course they all have their own personal issues and dramas going on. Ultimately, Hester's past and present come together in a way that she never expected.
This was a good read for me. There is an awful lot of talk about ballet in this novel, so if you have absolutely no interest at all in ballet, I wouldn't recommend this. I did find the ending a little disappointing. I had a feeling about what was going to happen (and I was mostly right) but I was expecting more emotions from the characters when all was revealed. Instead, things wrapped up a little bit too quickly and neatly for me.
All in all though, I enjoyed this and would recommend it. I still think I liked Geras' first adult novel, Facing the Light best, and I also enjoyed Made in Heaven.