Monday, September 15, 2014

Review: Ballroom by Alice Simpson

by Alice Simpson

Publisher: Harper
Pages: 320
Format: book
Buy the Book: Amazon

Goodreads:  Time has eroded the glamour of the Ballroom, but at the end of the 1990s, a small crowd of loyal patrons still makes its way past the floor-to-ceiling columns which frame the once grand hall each Sunday evening. Sweeping across the worn parquet floor under a peeling indigo ceiling, these men and women succumb to the magic of the music, looking for love and connection, eager to erase the drab reality of their complicated lives.

Nearly forty and still single, Sarah Dreyfus is desperate for love and sure she’ll find it with debonair Gabriel Katz, a dazzling peacock who dances to distract himself from his crumbling marriage. Tired of the bachelor life, Joseph believes that his yearning for a wife and family will be fulfilled—if only he can get Sarah to notice him. Besotted with beautiful young Maria Rodriguez, elderly dance instructor Harry Korn knows they can find happiness together. Maria, one of the Ballroom’s stars, has a dream of her own, a passion her broken-hearted father refuses to accept or understand.

Kritters Thoughts:  Told in short chapters from each person's perspective, this book was different.  Each character comes to the Ballroom every Sunday evening and participates in the dancing that evening, but their friendships and relationships are just on the surface and they each have things that they are hiding and easy to hide as they don't even know each other's last names.

I enjoyed this book, but didn't love it as much as I thought it would.  I grew up as a dancer, so I thought this book would be right up my alley, but the only reason this was a like and not a love was kind of petty - I wish that there were a few more characters that were younger, most of them were of the older variety and I wish there were a few dancers that were younger.  

I loved the dancing.  I loved the passion that each person had and the dedication to dancing.  I loved the pursuit of a partner and the drama about partner abandonment.  

This was a like, not love, but I would still completely recommend it to readers.  

Rating: definitely a good read, but can't read two in a row

Disclosure of Material Connection:  I received one copy of this book free of charge from TLC Book Tours.  I was not required to write a positive review in exchange for receipt of the book; rather, the opinions expressed in this review are my own.


  1. I find ballroom dancing fascinating. I always think how much fun it would be to learn!

    Thanks for being a part of the tour.

  2. Thank you for reading BALLROOm and writing you review. I understand that you would have liked younger characters, but this ballroom of the 1990s was a place for middle aged and older people, some who danced at the historical Palladium and the legendary Roseland. Younger dancers tended to go to Swing Dance Clubs and discos.

    I am pleased that you felt that BALLROOM was written with passion and an understanding of the drama of being abandoned by your partner and the universal longing for that 'perfect' partner.

  3. I understand what you mean. I have often found that novels and books on my "pet subjects" or about personal interests are not among my favourite reads, because my personal expectations get in the way. I've always enjoyed books and stories about dance, but I've never been a dancer. What I loved about this book was the focus on relationships and dreams and how subtly connections were traced.


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