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Astonish Me by Maggie Shipstead

By Maggie Shipstead

From the writer of the commonly acclaimed debut novel "Seating Arrangements," winner of the Dylan Thomas Prize: a gorgeously written, fiercely compelling glimpse into the passionate, political international ballet and its magnetic carry over generations.
"Astonish Me" is the impossible to resist tale of Joan, a ballerina whose existence has been formed through her dating with the world-famous dancer Arslan Ruskov, whom she is helping illness from the Soviet Union to the U.S.. whereas Arslan's occupation takes to the air in manhattan, Joan's slowly declines, finishing whilst she turns into pregnant and comes to a decision to marry her longtime admirer, a PhD scholar named Jacob. because the years move, Joan settles into her new existence in California, instructing dance and observing her son, Harry, turn into a ballet prodigy himself. but if Harry's luck brings him into shut touch with Arslan, explosive secrets and techniques are published that shatter the fragile stability Joan has struck among her prior and current.
In sleek, inimitable prose, Shipstead attracts us into a unprecedented international, and the lives of her brilliant and tempestuous characters. choked with intrigue, remarkable satire, and emotional nuance, "Astonish Me" is a superlative follow-up to Shipstead's brilliant debut.

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Drew on you? Drew on his brother? It shall be remembered in the account," the old man promised grimly, and fixed his bloodshot eyes upon his younger son. "Come here, you! Come nearer! You're quiet enough now, are you? Are you in your right senses yet? —a thing a very savage would not do. You shall ask his pardon for it here and now, before you pay the rest of your score. On your knees! " Harry did not move. "I ordered you to ask your brother's pardon. " Harry shook his head a little, and maintained his stony regard, not even glancing in Ebrard's direction.

If my hand and Adam's lay severed before you, would you know which was the free, and which the unfree? " "Father, if I have a mind, if I have that faculty of measuring which you call judgement, is it not the gift of God? Am I to bury it in the ground and let it rot? " "That is very well said, Harry! And let me tell you this, law is a compromise, a makeshift, a best that can be done with the material at hand, never finished. — older and wiser and greater minds than yours, compounded it, and I think none who had a hand in it will ever claim that it cannot be bettered.

And you are right to speak out where you think it fails of its purpose, which is justice, though you must beware of thinking that your criticisms are therefore invariably justified. There are doubtless some laws which are bad—though to be plain with you I do not think this is among them—and in time they will be changed. It is a good part to work for such amendment. But while the law is as it is, you are bound by it, and so am I, and we must conform. " "Father, what choice had we? In a year, or two years, or ten, this penalty which I find vile may be done away.

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