Published: 1 April 2021
Author: Erin Kelly
Published by: Hodder & Stoughton
Length: 400 pages
Reading dates: 6-10 March 2021
Swan Lake is divided into the black acts and the white acts. The Prince is on stage for most of the ballet, but it’s the swans audiences flock to see. In early productions, Odette and Odile were performed by two different dancers. These days, it is usual for the same dancer to play both roles. Because of the faultless ballet technique required to master the steps, and the emotional range needed to perform both the virginal Odette and the dark, seductive Odile, this challenging dual role is one of the most coveted in all ballet. Dancers would kill for the part.
Ava Kirilova has reached the very top of her profession. After years and years of hard graft, pain and sacrifice as part of the London Russian Ballet Company, allowing nothing else to distract her, she is finally the poster girl for Swan Lake. Even Mr K – her father, and the intense, terrifying director of the company – can find no fault. Ava has pushed herself ahead of countless other talented, hardworking girls, and they are all watching her now.
But there is someone who really wants to see Ava fall …
This is going to be such a difficult review to write because there are so many twists and turns I don’t want to give anything away! Set in the world of the London Russian Ballet we join the story as Ava Kirilov is about to perform the role every ballet dancer dreams of – the dual parts of Odette and Odile in her father’s production of Swan Lake. Ava knows she is top of her game but can’t help being paranoid about the other dancers – there are very few true friends in the world of ballet and she knows there are many who’d like to see her fail and take her crown. And her own father is a harsh critic which doesn’t help Ava’s confidence.
Told from the point of view of Ava as she performs the dance of her career and fellow dancer Juliet who is staying in Ava’s house after a dreadful injury ends her ballet career. Left stranded by the ballet company with little idea of how the real world works, Juliet soon finds herself destitute with no way of earning money. She meets security guard Max who patrols the luxurious complex where she lives and starts a relationship with him with the hope he will help her break into Ava’s safe so she can borrow some money to get her through.
I have never really been interested in ballet and I don’t think I’d ever realised how brutal the world of ballet can be. The descriptions of what ballet does to the dancer’s body shows how tough these performers are. Watch Her Fall completely immersed me in the world of ballet and Swan Lake and it has made me want to go and see a performance!
This is such a clever book. The twists are just mind blowing – and literally left me gasping as they were revealed and they come thick and fast! It’s the sort of book that makes you want to reread it as the twists are revealed. I have never read Erin Kelly before but this was just brilliant. Totally absorbing and exciting, the ballet is the perfect setting for a thriller and I just loved this – a wonderful 5 star read!
Thank you to Kate Keehan for inviting me on the blog tour and for my copy of the book. Please check out the other brilliant bloggers below:
About the author
Erin Kelly was born in London in 1976 and grew up in Essex. She read English at Warwick University and has been working as a journalist since 1998.
She has written for newspapers including the The Sunday Times, The Sunday Telegraph, the Daily Mail and the Express and magazines including Red, Psychologies, Marie Claire, Elle and Cosmopolitan.