It could happen that in a few days my father might tell me he forgives me, and I will reject his forgiveness like it’s an organ my body doesn’t recognize. Will I be allowed, then, to come apart? Will I have earned it? All pain is equal at the moment of suffering, but after that, suffering gets Assigned Seating.

Page 65

In a nutshell

Carlisle Martin dreams of becoming a professional ballerina like her mother Isabel. Her youth is defined by the few weeks a year she gets to see her father Robert and his troubled partner James. When she’s at their apartment she eagerly absorbs all James has to teach her about literature, music and art. As she gets older, she grows more and more desperate to become a permanent fixture in their enchanting world, but instead a passionate love affair creates a rift between them. Nineteen years later, a phone call takes her on a trip down memory lane unravelling the fateful events of her life.

Book Club Notes

The story line was interesting enough but ultimately there were two factors that led me to feeling blah about it.

1. The grand fateful event hinted at throughout the book is almost too silly to believe a plot could be wrapped around it. Almost, because then you remember how petty and immature some people can be and then you get it.

2. Carlilse is an overly tortured artist and it got to be too much for me. Some people are naturally heavy people, while others light and I happen to gravitate towards the light. When I’m reading, characters that come across as tortured for tortured sake grate me. (This is different to being tortured and heavy because something truly traumatic and life changing happened to you).

My dislike of this book came down to the plot not the writing. The book is well written, well crafted, and ultimately Megan Howrey created a character I really didn’t like. For a writer to be able to conjure up such feelings in a reader takes skill.

Read If

You’re an artist. Maybe a tortured one. You love ballet, literature, art and New York City.


Storyline – 6/10
Writing – 8/10
Character Development – 6/10
Plot Twist – 5/10
Shareability – 0/10
5.0Overall Score
A note on our book ratings

Storyline: How good is the storyline? Is it believable and complex or does it make you shake your head in its ridiculousness?

Writing: How well written is the book? Do you find yourself wowed by the writing or unimpressed?

Character Development: Do the characters evolve and grow through the book and are they multi-dimensional?

Plot Twist: Were you able to predict the end, or did the author give you some surprises along the way to keep you on your toes?

Shareability: How likely are you to share the book?

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