Posted By trish on August 25, 2014
• Hardcover: 304 pages
• Publisher: Harper (September 23, 2014)
A beautiful debut, Ballroom follows a group of strangers, united by a desire to escape their complicated lives (if only for a few hours each week) at a New York City dance hall that’s about to close its doors for good.
The Ballroom used to be a place to see and be seen, but the years have taken their toll, and by the end of the 1990s this Manhattan dance hall, just off Union Square, is a husk of its former self. A small crowd of loyal patrons still makes its way to the worn parquet floor every Sunday evening: although they each have their private reasons for returning again and again to the Ballroom, they are united by a shared desire to seek solace from reality, if only for a few hours, within its walls—and in the magic of dance.
Nearly forty and still single, Sarah Dreyfus is desperate for love and sure she’ll find it with debonair Gabriel Katz, who seduces the women he meets at the Ballroom to distract himself from his crumbling marriage. Lonely bachelor Joseph believes that his yearning for a wife and family will be fulfilled—if he can only get Sarah to notice him and see that he is in love with her. Obsessed with his building superintendent’s beautiful daughter, Maria Rodriguez, elderly dance instructor Harry Korn is convinced that together they will find the happiness that has eluded him throughout his life. And Maria, who—thanks in part to Harry’s instruction and encouragement—is one of the stars of Sunday nights at the Ballroom along with her partner, Angel Morez, has a dream of her own that her brokenhearted father refuses to accept or understand.
In this deeply felt debut, Alice Simpson deftly unfolds the lives of these men and women, entwining their stories into a profoundly human narrative about our instinc-tual longing to love and to be loved. As the rhythms of the Ballroom ebb and flow through her characters’ hearts, their fates weave together both on and off the dance floor in touching, unexpected ways.
Praise for Ballroom
“Simpson is a master at creating realistic characters who are flawed…yet sympathetic.… Readers who enjoy seeing inside the hearts and minds of others will relish sharing the lives of Simpson’s creations.” —Kirkus
“Well-crafted.… This touching debut captures the intricacies and the unexpected of personal relationships.” —Library Journal
About Alice Simpson
Alice Simpson is an accomplished visual artist who has a profound passion for dance. Ballroom is her first novel. She lives in South Pasadena, California.
Connect with her through her website or Facebook.
Alice Tour Stops
Wednesday, September 10th: Tutu’s Two Cents
Thursday, September 11th: she treads softly
Monday, September 15th: Kritters Ramblings
Tuesday, September 16th: BookNAround
Wednesday, September 17th: I’d Rather Be At The Beach
Thursday, September 18th: Walking With Nora
Friday, September 19th: Not in Jersey
Tuesday, September 23rd: Drey’s Library
Friday, September 26th: Books, Books Everywhere
Monday, September 29th: Book Loving Hippo
Tuesday, September 30th: Buried in Print
Wednesday, October 1st: Book by Book
Friday, October 3rd: Stephany Writes
Monday, October 6th: Consuming Culture
Wednesday, October 8th: Ms. Nose in a Book
Thursday, October 9th: bookchickdi