Friday, 27 April 2012

Drina Dances in Exile by Jean Estoril (Children's, 9 years +)

Summer 1989, Scholastic 
192 pages, Paperback
Personal copy

Themes: seeing life in black & white, total commitment to a passion, dealing with jealousy, learning how to deal with unpleasant situations, ballet school, trying too hard, unexpected pleasant surprises, separation and all it entails, friendship, sense of belonging, trials of snow, some humour, tissues needed

Summary from Goodreads

When her grandparents go to Australia for the year, Drina is at first horrified to be sent to the Dominick's residential campus. She feels as though she is in exile at Chalk Green, so far from London. However, she slowly begins to enjoy it more and make friends, and things definitely improve when Rose joins her out in the country, given a scholarship in the hopes that the fresh air will help improve her health.

Nayuleska's thoughts

Only when I read this book did I realise where I'd read about a ballet school in the country. Drina is very passionate about ballet, and blames herself for not dancing well when in reality she's struggling to cope with various emotional turmoil. She's not herself and it takes a combination of people and different approaches to help her overcome the depths of sadness. I admire her strength and determination to persevere in this 10/10 read. Jenny features a little, as does Rose, who both plan a surprise for Drina.

Suggested read

Be sure to have read previous books including book 2, Drina's Dancing Year.

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