Book Review: When the Music Stops by Paddy Egar

June 19, 2015 Book review 10 ★★★★

Last year I read the first book in this dance series – 84 Ribbons – and loved it so much that I declared it “the best ballet book I have read in a long, long time”. So you can imagine that I pretty excited to get my hands on this one.

Book Review: When the Music Stops by Paddy EgarWhen the Music Stops (Dance On #2) by Paddy Eger
Published by Tendril Press on March 3rd 2015
Genres: Dance, Emotions & Feelings, Historical Fiction, Romance
Format: ARC
Source: NetGalley
Buy on Amazon

This sequel to the Award-winning 84 Ribbons, continues Marta’s 1958-9 coming of age journey. Tired and broken, she returns to her childhood home with ‘personal baggage’ from her too short experience with the Intermountain Ballet Company. Marta attempts to choreograph her future to heal not only her body, but also her memories and emotions to move her life forward. As she finds a job to support herself, her dance and personal life take unexpected and sometimes harrowing turns. Will she be able to find a deeper well of strength to meet these new challenges of adulthood head-on? Which suitor will steal her heart?

First Line of When The Music Stops by Paddy Eger:

“Marta straightened her shoulders, gathered her belongings, and descended the metal stairs onto the train platform station.”

My Thoughts on When The Music Stops by Paddy Eger:

I knew before I started this book that there might be less ballet in it as Marta has left her ballet company and moved home to re-evaluate her life after an injury. But I was delighted at how much dance there still was in this one. My favourite part was the adult ballet class that Marta ends up teaching, just point me in the right direction and sign me up for this! I would thrive on it!

This series of books are very character focused and if you are looking for non-stop action, then don’t look here. Instead you get interesting characters with a lot of growth. Marta is a character that I’d love to shake at times; she is given to self pity, can be selfish and does some self destructive things. But hands up; I’ve done all that and I’m not going to condemn a teenage girl for acting like a teenager who doesn’t have everything figured out.

I would describe this book as gentle. Maybe it’s the 1950s setting but has a lovely, mellow vibe to it that makes it a nostalgic comfort read for me. It has a heart-warming theme of family and neighbours and friends all looking out for each other. But it still has a lot of depth. Marta is lonely a lot of the time and it digs into just how hard it can be to make friends when you have left school/college which is a relatable theme.

Overall this was an enjoyable follow up book and I really enjoyed discovering what happened for Marta after the music stopped.


Rating Report
Did I feel it?
Overall: three-half-stars


Who should read When The Music Stops by Paddy Eger?

I’d recommend this to you if you love dance books like I do, if you enjoyed 84 Ribbons and if you appreciate character driven books.

Thanks to NetGalley and Paddy Eger for giving me a copy of this book in exchange for an unbiased review.



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10 Responses to “Book Review: When the Music Stops by Paddy Egar”

  1. Paddy Eger

    Thank you for your review of When the Music Stops – Dance On. It’s always a worry writing ‘that second book’ so I’m glad Marta didn’t disappoint you. I agree; at times I wanted to give her a kick in the pants, but Marta needed time to grow so I let her take what time she needed.

    I hope you will find your ballet class. I’d like to join Marta’s class as well.

    • trish

      Thanks for checking out the review Paddy! And yes, it’s always important to give characters room to grow, we might get annoyed but then we are so proud of them when they do 🙂

    • trish

      I really enjoyed the old-fashioned vibe to the book and I’d have no problem recommending to anyone who enjoys dance books 🙂

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