Tendril Press (2015)
Reviewed by Arianna Violante (age 20) for Reader Views (03/16)
“When the Music Stops: Dance On” by Paddy Eger is the sequel to 84 Ribbons, the author’s debut novel. The story begins with Marta’s return to her childhood home, in need of an extended recovery time before she will be able to return to dance. Marta plans to use her time to work on her recovery. During this time, she has many decisions to make regarding her future as a dancer, as well as her relationship with her boyfriend.
It is hard to go home after being on your own for a while, but Marta does the best she can, and is encouraged when she takes a job with the local community theatre. When her former ballet teacher invites her to teach at her dance studio, Marta’s enthusiasm and energy returns full force. Then over the course of the next several months, a series of events throw Marta’s life into chaos and she is forced to reevaluate her life.
I found “When the Music Stops: Dance On” to be an easy to read standalone novel, though it did inspire me to put 84 Ribbons on my reading list. The characters are realistic and believable, especially for the times. Marta’s character stirred a range of emotions in me. Her depression was hard to deal with at times, but I enjoyed following her on her journey, and cheered a bit when she finally grows up. It was frustrating and eye opening at the same time, to realize that young women in the 1950s did not have all the opportunities available to girls today.
I recommend “When the Music Stops: Dance On” as an entertaining read for all ages, but feel it would be most appreciated by young adults. Dancers and non-dancers will be inspired by this coming of age read.