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.


Iliana said...

I love these type of stories too - especially when you just want to have fun reading. I haven't tried her yet but am going to see if I can find something on BookMooch :)

Cornflower said...

I enjoyed Hester's Story very much, as did my mother, and we just happened to be discussing Adele's books yesterday and were saying we are both looking forward to the next one. Not sure which is my favourite so far, either Facing the Light or Made in Heaven.

Eva said...

I love ballet! So this sounds like perfect for a comfort read. :)

(Diane) Bibliophile By the Sea said...

Sounds like a great comfort read.

JoAnn said...

Geras is already on my 'authors to read' list and this sounds wonderful!

Anonymous said...

You know, this sounds exactly like my type of book, but I haven't touched one of Adele Geras's books since I was twelve. I read Watching the Roses, and it scared me so bad I hid it at the back of the storage room at my parents' house (it's probably still in there). Have you ever read that one? How do her other books compare?

Danielle said...

I've yet to read any of her books, though I did score one through Bookmooch. I've heard many good things about her and I see her comments on others' blogs--I must give her a try as I think I'd enjoy her books. Thanks for the heads up on this one!

shereadsandreads said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
avisannschild said...

Sorry, Tara, I commented using the wrong profile!

My original comment was:

As you know, I consider Geras one of my faves, although I realize now that I've only read one of her books (Facing the Light)! I have Made in Heaven waiting on my shelves...

Tara said...

Iliana, I hope you find something on bookmooch!

Cornflower, I have her most recent book waiting for me, and will also be looking forward to the next one.

Eva, then this sounds perfect for you!

Diane, absolutely.

JoAnn, is she! I hope you like her.

Jennysbooks, I haven't read any of Geras' childrens/YA books so I'm not sure how they compare. Her adult books are similar to Penny Vincezi in ways, very family saga-ish, always a secret involved, about relationships. Certainly not frightening!

Danielle, I think you'd like this author, too!

avisannschild, that's funny! I really liked Facing the Light; I bet since you liked that, you'll enjoy her other adult books.