Extended Audio Sample

Download The Cranes Dance Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample The Cranes Dance Audiobook, by Meg Howrey Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (1,096 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Meg Howrey Narrator: Justine Eyre Publisher: Blackstone Publishing Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: May 2012 ISBN: 9781470806200
Regular Price: $22.95 Add to Cart
— or —
FlexPass™ Price: $10.95$5.95$5.95 for new members!
Add to Cart learn more )

I threw my neck out in the middle of Swan Lake tonight.

So begins the tale of Kate Crane, a soloist in a celebrated New York City ballet company. Kate is struggling to keep her place in a very demanding world, a world she can’t help satirizing even as she balances injury and self-doubt to maintain her place within it. At every turn she is haunted by her close relationship with her younger sister, Gwen, a fellow company dancer whose career quickly surpassed Kate’s but who has recently suffered a breakdown and returned home to Michigan.

Alone for the first time in her life, Kate is anxious and full of guilt about the role she played in her sister’s collapse. As we follow her on an insider tour of rehearsals, performances, and partners onstage and off, she confronts the tangle of love, jealousy, pride, and obsession that are beginning to fracture her own sanity. Funny, dark, intimate, and unflinchingly honest, The Cranes Dance is a book that pulls back the curtains to reveal the private lives of dancers and explores the complicated bond between sisters.

Download and start listening now!


Quotes & Awards

  • “Playful and smart, Meg Howrey’s fresh voice unveils an eye-opening tale about the secretive and obsessive world of ballet.”

    Amanda Foreman, New York Times bestselling author

  • “Meg Howrey deftly raises the velvet curtain on life ‘backstage’ at a top New York City ballet company, revealing the backstabbing and the grit beneath the tutus and the glamour in this hilarious tale of sibling rivalry, youthful ambition and dreams lost and found. Witty, sharp, and exhilarating as the Black Swan’s solo or Vishneva’s fouettés.”

    Susan Fales-Hill, author of One Flight Up

  • “From The Red Shoes to Black Swan, Hollywood has provided unforgettable portrayals of the ballet world’s grisliness as well as its glamour. At last, The Cranes Dance brings this enchanting world alive in literature but with tremendous wit, flair, and psychological insight. With its universal themes of ambition and competition, sisterhood and sacrifice, it will appeal to bad dancers as well as balletomanes—an addictive, readable delight.”  

    Caroline Weber, author of Queen of Fashion: What Marie Antoinette Wore to the Revolution

  • “Engaging…Revelations about family, talent, and what makes us special create a thought-provoking and entertaining read.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “Howrey’s taut character study offers a behind-the-scenes look at the world of professional dance through the eyes of a complex, damaged, tenacious young dancer.”


Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Alexa | 2/14/2014

    " I really enjoyed this book and thought it was very beautifully written. The author incorporated so many details about the competative dance world into the novel, that by the end the ballet itself began to almost develop into a layered and dimensional character. I found the protagonist's , Kate Crane, srtuggle with guilt and betrayal over her sister's, Gwen Crane, descent in mental illness extremely compelling. The scenes in which Kate describes in hindsight the increasingly strange behavior exhibited by Gwen, were the most emotional parts of the book to read and they often left me thinking about them days after. The only reason I did not give this book five stars is that pacing seemed very off toward the end of the book. The last few chapters seemed to drop off and the ending did not attempt any type of closure. The abruptness of the last fourth of the book dissappointed me, but it is definitely worth reading. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 This Girl Loves Books | 2/14/2014

    " I purchased this novel because I loved the cover and the topic was one I had only watched before but never read about. The Cranes dance is a novel that not only covers the world of dancing and ballet but does so in a very real way. This is not a glamourous book about rich sisters and they dramatic ballet performances and flakly social lives. No. The Cranes Dance holds the reader and develivers a gripping story about Kate Crane (Yeah, yeah Crane, Swan..) and how her life is in turmoil after suffers a breakdown and returns home. While this could play into boring stereotypes about selfish sisters and not really broken sisters this novel divulges parts of the breakdown in a natural formular. Initally I thought the novel was going to come across as dumb when I read 'mezuzah thingies' on the second page. I was hesitant to continue for dread that the entire novel would read like so with useless words but I continued and along the way read some captivating quotes about sadness and the agony of life. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kate | 2/10/2014

    " Someone described this to me as "a funny Black Swan," but that doesn't quite do the book justice. The Cranes Dance is a very astute observation of a variety of caregiving and mentoring relationships--chiefly Kate's co-dependency with her fragile sister Gwen--and all fear, responsibility and manipulation that goes along with them. I thought Kate's descent went on a little too long, and the ending was wrapped up a little too neatly, but otherwise it's an absorbing read and many of Kate's observations are laugh-out-loud funny. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Miss Theriault | 1/2/2014

    " I really loved this one - a lot more than I thought I would. Meg Howrey's voice is authentic, modern, and consistently amusing. I can't wait to read more by her. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Tina | 12/21/2013

    " This story is about two ballet dancers in a ballet company in New York and their trials and tribulations with their careers, their relationship with each other, and their difficulties with life in general. I'm not sure why I even finished this audio book. I was a bit intrigued about a ballet dancers life style and curious about something I have never even taken the time to wonder about. I kept thinking there must be some big surprise or revelation so I listened to the end despite the horrible voice of the reader. She totally didn't match the character (age) and her reading style was really annoying. In the end I was still disappointed and would not recommend wasting your time with this book. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Julie Haydu | 12/6/2013

    " I am not sure why I read this whole book. It was rather depressing. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Susan Snyder | 11/17/2013

    " A fun bit of fluff (even if it is about depression). "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jill McDevitt | 10/23/2013

    " Interesting to watch the relationship between the sisters - and to have a glimpse of a professional dancer's world. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Mary Latz | 6/21/2013

    " The book fascinated me. It showed you the behind the scenes of the ballet. It really captured me. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Linda | 6/1/2013

    " Okay, but not an easy read. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Janet Benson | 7/9/2012

    " I agree with Entertainment Weekly, which calls this "Black Swan without the hallucinations." Very interesting character studies, and also interesting view into the world of a professional ballet dancer. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Elaine Naum | 5/18/2012

    " Fun read narrated from a real, no filter, call-it-as-you-think-iit voice. Love the insight into dance world counter culture. "

Write a Review
What is FlexPass?
  • Your first audiobook is just $5.95
  • Over 90% are at or below $12.95
  • "LOVE IT" guarantee
  • No time limits or expirations
About the Author

Meg Howrey is the author of three novels and the coauthor of novels published under the pen name Magnus Flyte. Her nonfiction has appeared in Vogue and the Los Angeles Review of Books. She is a former dancer who performed with The Joffrey, Eglevsky Ballet, and City Ballet of Los Angeles.

About the Narrator

Justine Eyre is a classically trained actress who has narrated dozens of audiobooks and has a prestigious Audie Award and seven AudioFile Earphones Awards under her belt. Eyre is multilingual and known for her great facility with accents. She has appeared on stage, with leading roles in King Lear and The Crucible, and has had starring roles in four films on the indie circuit. Her television credits include Two and a Half Men and Mad Men.