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Review: Clair-de-Lune by Cassandra Golds

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Clair-de-Lune (2009) by Cassandra Golds

This novel is a beautiful, rich, meandering magic realist story with many fairy tale elements carefully winding through it. It is a coming-of-age story that follows twelve year old ballerina Clair-de-Lune who lives under the thumb of her ex-ballerina grandmother and in the shadow of her famous dead ballerina mother La Lune. They live in an enormous house that she feels she cannot escape, made even more suffocating by the fact that Clair-de-Lune cannot speak and thus has no way of making friends. Her grandmother impresses upon her daily the importance of pursuing the noble and pure art of The Dance and Clair-de-Lune feels as though she is suffocating inside herself. Only when a small mouse befriends her and takes her to a monastery hidden within their building does Clair-de-Lune begin to understand herself, her origins, and the future that she must grasp.
Although quite heavy on introspection and self-development, the occasional bright spot of the fantastical makes this story enjoyable enough to finish.

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