This is where the book really surprised me. I thought this was going to be a sweet, but improbable story about three orphans who make it big in the ballet world. But, that’s not quite how it goes down. The girls do attend a prestigious performing arts school, but only one girl (Posy) really shines as a dancer - becoming extremely single-minded about it to an almost pathological degree. Pauline finds instead that acting is her passion and has her own triumphs and trials as a working child actress. Petrova, however, never cottons to any of the performing arts – much preferring mechanics and engineering.
I’m having a hard time putting into words what exactly about this book made such an impression on me, but basically it was just so much smarter than I was expecting it to be. The plotting was fresh and often unpredictable and the characters were diverse and multidimensional - making for a very satisfying read! My only minor complaint is that the ending felt a bit rushed, but perhaps I just didn’t want it to end!