It's not just about dance though, but the curse of dance, the passions behind dance, the scandals. Two stories are going on. In the modern story, Dani is a reporter in Argentina, researching the tango, against her grandmother's wishes. Her mother abandoned her for the dance. Dani is torn between looking for her or finding about her mother on the sly, under the radar. As she learns to tango (sorta) with her hot dance instructor, Carlos, she unearths an Argentine mystery. Who killed the most famous Tango composer in the fifties?
The fifties tale follows Louisa, the muse of the famous composer. Though she and composer have a relationship of convenience, she's not allowed to get her jollies elsewhere....but that doesn't stop her. But, oh, the drama!!
Random things I loved: The way the author placed Argentine history into the story, such as the Pink Palace possibly being a mixture of cow blood and white paint, and the women in the plaza who mourn their missing children once a week.
Dani, the modern-day heroine. How could I NOT love a woman who says this? "I will only follow the male because it is a dance, not real life. I have not, nor will I ever, let a man tell me what to do. Women have their own brains and we can survive quite well without men if we choose."
|Casa Rosada, Wiki Commons|
Carlos gave me a lot of food for thought with his wisdom, though I must say he doesn't always follow his own advice.
"You do not listen to what is within. All this blah, blah, blah, you do, it is not good for anything. For success you need to be quiet here and here." He pointed to his head then mouth. "If you allow peace in those places you will listen to this." Carlos put a hand over his heart. "This beating, loving device will guide you in the direction you need. What does yours say?"
"Melancholy is essential to tango, just like life. How do we know how to recognise joy when it arrives? A great tango embraces a series of emotions--love, heartbreak, unhappiness, felicity. How are we to grow without experiencing this range of feelings? Imagine if we danced the same steps or felt the same emotions every day."
Quibbles: I really couldn't stand Louisa. In my eyes, she was worthless, not a strong heroine at all, so this is a personal issue. She's just a man's muse and dotes on him hand and foot and makes excuses for him. She irritated me.
The modern-day heroine doesn't really learn to dance. I was hoping for more dancing. Tango seems to be always in the background, but neither Louisa nor Dani really dance, and that's who the book focuses on.
The romance between Carlos and Dani, I didn't really FEEL it. The romance between Roberto and Louisa was much better and realistic.
I enjoyed this story. There are some things I would have changed, but it's a decent read and I highly recommend it for anyone wanting to know more about tango. Immerse yourself in an entertaining story and become educated at the same time. There's no better way to do it.
I received this via Netgalley. Quotes may be different in the final version.