For eleven-year-old Esme, ballet is everything—until her four-year-old sister, Lily, vanishes without a trace and nothing is certain anymore. People Esme has known her whole life suddenly become suspects, each new one hitting closer to home than the last.
Unable to cope, Esme escapes the nightmare that is her new reality when she receives an invitation to join an elite ballet academy in San Francisco. Desperate to leave behind her chaotic, broken family and the mystery surrounding Lily’s disappearance, Esme accepts.
Eight years later, Esme is up for her big break: her first principal role in Paris. But a call from her older sister shatters the protective world she has built for herself, forcing her to revisit the tragedy she’s run from for so long. Will her family finally have the answers they’ve been waiting for? And can Esme confront the pain that shaped her childhood, or will the darkness follow her into the spotlight?
[‘Ladies’ Amelia clapped and all ten dancers stopped moving]
(Lake Union Publishing, 1 April 2019, 274 pages, ebook, copy from @AmazonKindle, Amazon First Reads)
I really loved this book. It’s very different than the usual missing child books that get churned out on a regular basis. This is a plot it can be hard to do something original with. I really felt for the characters. The book is from Esme’s point of view. I completely sympathised with her need to flee from her broken family. It would be hard to see so much pain all the time and feel helpless, unable to help. A lot of time is spent with Esme building a new life for herself and trying to distance herself from the past. I like the fact there was less focus on finding Lil and more focus on how her disappearance affected her family. This was also different than other books with similar focus. My heart was in my throat when her other sister, Madeline, brings news that forces her to face everything she’s run from. This led to an unexpected storyline I wasn’t expecting. It was heart-breaking.