cover image Girl Through Glass

Girl Through Glass

Sari Wilson. Harper, $25.99 (304p) ISBN 978-0-06-232627-0

Wilson’s debut novel begins in 1977 and centers on Mira Able, an 11-year-old straining to push through the physical and emotional demands of the New York City ballet world. It’s an ambition complicated by her parents’ lack of interest in ballet and unraveling marriage, and further complicated by Maurice, an older, disabled man interested in Mira and her future as a ballerina. Meanwhile, interwoven in alternating chapters is the present-day story of Kate, a dance historian and professor who, after sleeping with a student, is compelled to seek closure from her mysterious past in New York. Wilson’s premise and structure could have been disorganized and dull in less deft hands, but the story is a uniformly engrossing look into the fabled world of hypercompetitive 1970s ballet. Mira and Maurice’s relationship has the fairy tale feel of Beauty and the Beast, but the pages brim with the realism of the gritty, crime-riddled New York, especially as the plot ricochets toward a surprising, and bittersweet, merging of Kate’s and Mira’s stories. Wilson writes lovingly of ballet and elevates the coming-of-age story with a dark undercurrent about the cost of obsession. [em]Agent: P.J. Mark, Janklow & Nesbit Associates. (Jan.) [/em]