I read a lot of books. I always have one going. Usually I go from one to the next, like another handful of potato chips and promptly forget what I’ve just read. It’s “mind candy,” pure entertainment, escape fiction.
But once in awhile I come across a book that stays with me—while I’m reading it and long after I’ve finished. It’s a story that grabs my heart and soul and I can’t get enough. I can’t put it down, but I don’t want it to end, and it stays in my periphery long afterward.
The Art of Falling by Kathryn Craft is such a novel.
I was honored to be able to read an Advance Reader Copy. I was swept up in the lyrical prose, twirled into the mounting drama, swooped high and low with the poignant, raw emotion of anguish, rejection, then hope and resilience.
Craft’s debut novel tells the story of a dancer’s life, her struggle with body image, her sacrifice and self-denial, her striving to “live up to” expectations from her mother, her dance teachers, her dance partners, herself.
The title itself is symbolism: a physical fall, learning to love and to accept, death that brings life, movement that brings joy.
Excerpt: “The mirror is prominent in every studio, front and center, like a reflective altar…. The pursuit of perfection is daunting and exhausting with no end in sight. Yet in spite of ourselves, we get up each day and try, while the joy of movement drains from our lives.”
Synopsis: All Penny has ever wanted to do is dance—and when that chance is taken from her, it pushes her to the brink of despair, from which she might never return. When she wakes up after a traumatic fall, bruised and battered but miraculously alive, Penny must confront the memories that have haunted her for years, using her love of movement to pick up the pieces of her shattered life.
This is a “must” for your To-Be-Read list! As one reviewer put it: “The Art of Falling is a story of friendship and personal growth, and a helluva good read.”