This beautifully drawn new novel by the acclaimed Elizabeth Smither features two families over a period of several decades. When we first meet Polly Bening and Daniel Maplethorpe they are 10-year-old ballet hopefuls at a dance school in a small New Zealand town. Daniel is the sole boy in the ballet class; his father is hostile and Daniel is beaten up by boys in his school. Over the next few decades Daniel goes overseas to dance and becomes an international ballet star. Polly, although all agree she could go further , becomes a teacher, moves to Australia and marries an Australian cricket commentator. There s a lot of cricket in the book; at one stage Polly s daughter Priscilla meets Steve Waugh.
Relationships, illnesses, deaths, triumphs, regrets with great skill Smither allows the family stories to unfold, never putting a foot wrong as she juggles shifts in time and place.