Heidi's Reviews > As the Waltz Was Ending

As the Waltz Was Ending by Emma Macalik Butterworth
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's review
Oct 13, 2008

really liked it
bookshelves: fiction-historical, fiction-childrens, fiction, history-european, from-library-whs
Recommended to Heidi by: stabb@ozemail.com.au
Read in October, 2008

When I saw this on the shelf (while shelf-checking) I couldn't believe I hadn't already read it. Ballet - check. Austria - check. World War II - check. All elements that usually mean I'll at least give a book a go, and this had all three!

Yet, despite perhaps one or two scenes seeming vaguely familiar, I'm fairly certain that I hadn't read this one before.

It was beautiful and sad and terrible. Realistic (it seems to me) in its portrayal of the ballet world, terrifying in the descriptions of Vienna at the end of the war, when the notorious Russian soldiers roamed the streets. I suppose the ending really makes it YA rather than children's lit, but still.

It's essentially a true story, as so many of these stories are. The author's story, their childhood in the war. It's a valid companion to Hans Peter Richter's I Was There and Judith Kerr's When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit, and other stories of that ilk. Very glad that I stumbled across it.

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