Title: The ballerinas.

AUTHOR: Rachel Kapelke-Dale.
GENRE: Women’s Fiction, Thriller.
PUBLICATION DATE: December 7th, 2021.


Dare Me meets Black Swan and Luckiest Girl Alive in a captivating, voice-driven debut novel about a trio of ballerinas who meet as students at the Paris Opera Ballet School.

Fourteen years ago, Delphine abandoned her prestigious soloist spot at the Paris Opera Ballet for a new life in St. Petersburg––taking with her a secret that could upend the lives of her best friends, fellow dancers Lindsay and Margaux. Now 36 years old, Delphine has returned to her former home and to the legendary Palais Garnier Opera House, to choreograph the ballet that will kickstart the next phase of her career––and, she hopes, finally make things right with her former friends. But Delphine quickly discovers that things have changed while she’s been away…and some secrets can’t stay buried forever.

Moving between the trio’s adolescent years and the present day, The Ballerinas explores the complexities of female friendship, the dark drive towards physical perfection in the name of artistic expression, the double-edged sword of ambition and passion, and the sublimated rage that so many women hold inside––all culminating in a twist you won’t see coming, with magnetic characters you won’t soon forget.


Thanks to NetGalley and St. Martin’s Press for letting me read this book prior to its publication. My opinion is 100% honest, unbiased, and my own.

From the very beginning, this book created some expectations that made me feel cheated and disappointed. The book starts as if it’s going to be a dark and twisty thriller, but it’s not. To me, it’s just women’s fiction, and the thriller part was disappointing and it felt forced, almost like an afterthought.

The story goes back and forth in time, following the life of Delphine after she leaves the prestigious Paris Opera Ballet and the events that led her to make that decision. Through her story, we get glimpses of what happened to her friends, Margaux and Lindsey. Their lives seem to be connected by a mysterious thing that Delphine and Margaux did, but, as I said, it wasn’t that intriguing and it was indeed anticlimactic.

Also, the plot suddenly shifted and the main topic seemed to be something entirely different, and it frankly read kind of preachy and propagandistic. Sorry to be vague, but I don’t want to spoil anything.

Overall, a book that was all over the place, with characters impossible to relate or empathise with. The only reason I don’t give it a lower rating is because it was a quick read and it flowed well.

So, for all of that, I give this book… 3 TEA CUPS!

Photo by Meruyert Gonullu on Pexels.com

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