Tuesday, April 14, 2015

The Girls at the Kingfisher Club-Genevieve Valentine

Girls at the Kingfisher Club-Genevieve Valentine
the facts
satisfaction: up/side
pages: 277
gender: F
nationality: USA
year: 2014
A retelling of the twelve dancing princesses fairy tale set in 1920s Manhattan.

Other than the high number of girls, this novel has no real feel of the fairy tale it comes from. By setting the readers' focus on the girls themselves, Valentine manages to make this story of 'deception' into a wholly different tale and I always welcome more feminist interpretations! With more than twelve major characters, it is actually very impressive that Valentine still packed in some individualized characterization which combined with the prose style made suspension of belief very easy. As a dancer myself, I loved the central role of dancing as an activity that frees the dancer and the various frustrations that come from searching for that magical moment. Those frustrations made the historical setting much more real. The 1920s flapper/Prohibition club scenes tend to be written quite romantically and idealistically but Valentine's club scene is much more timeless. Perhaps what the novel suffers from is its own easy readability. I actually reread this one-a rare departure from my usual habits-but there is something a bit ephemeral about it in the end.

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