BALLROOM ~ Alice Simpson
Though the glory days of the Ballroom are long gone, some New Yorkers still make time for a trip to the faded dance hall. Young dancers with big dreams brush up on new steps, while others scan the room for ideal dance (and perhaps romantic) partners. The eternally suave Gabriel treats the Ballroom as his own private meat market, while elderly Harry only has eyes for one dancer. As the connections among the regular group of dancers begin to spill over into life outside the Ballroom, the ensemble realizes how sacred their Sunday time and space really is. Simpson has a clear and passionate eye for ballroom dance, peppering the novel with dance terminology and commonly used songs. Each chapter opens with a short passage from some of the earliest ballroom dance handbooks, highlighting the importance of social graces and traditions. Simpson’s lush prose will envelop readers in the sights, sounds, and textures of the dance hall, though the novel isn’t particularly plot-driven. Fans of Jennifer Haigh and those welcoming a many-voiced, richly drawn experience will enjoy the poignant and emotional Ballroom.
— wrote Stephanie Turza, BOOKLIST