So, although I’m back dating this post it is going up a day late (boo you depression) so I would like to apologise to both Rachel & John Steinberg.
Nadine is a story of a woman & the memory she left behind; it’s about the West End, dancing & falling in love with the wrong people. It’s not my usual kind of read, but there were definitely parts that I really enjoyed.
I was sent this book to review as part of a blog tour organised by Rachel’s Random Resources.
⚠️ Contemplation of abortion, mentions of the Holocaust, cancer,
dementia, suicide, xenophobia, references to people trafficking, drug use ⚠️
London 1974 – and Peter Greenberg is riding high. Thanks to his magic touch, every play he puts on in Theatreland is a hit and the money is rolling in. The young man’s empire feels secure – but then everything changes. One evening, he calls in to see a rival’s musical and falls head over heels in love.
The beautiful Paris-born dancer who catches his eye is Nadine – a major star in the making. Like Greenberg, the young dancer too is in love – but with someone else. The eternal triangle is complicated by the birth of a child, and by tragic secrets that go back before World War Two; slowly, those secrets reveal themselves in a drama that out-performs anything on the West End stage or Broadway.
Nadine is a poignant story of unrequited love, a love that will one day be returned – and in a most unexpected way…
My review is going to have some spoilers but that’s for
content warning purposes only.
Nadine is a very unique book that is separated into several different parts; we have the part where Nadine falls in love with someone who is evidently using her, next Greenberg falls in love with Nadine, & despite his efforts, Nadine never reciprocates his feelings; Nadine then has a baby & goes through months of manipulation by the father until she ends up spending months in hospital. Eventually, after the father of her child takes her boy away, Nadine takes her own life – breaking Greenberg’s heart. Years later, Greenberg is contacted by Nadine’s father & so a big project is put together to help solidify Nadine’s memory forever.
The reason I wanted to read this book was because of the ballet/dancer aspect, however details of dance weren’t that common in the story; instead it was more of a brokenhearted romance drama – & I’m not really into romances. Due to that, I didn’t enjoy this book as much as I hoped, but regardless I was able to recognise the cleverness of the writing & story building by John Steinberg. The part of the book that took part after Nadine’s death (which was less about romance) actually really interested me & I was rooting for the tribute to Nadine’s life to be a success.
There were a lot of layers to this book, but the one I want to talk about is the mental health representation; I’m disappointed that this book doesn’t come with a content warning because some of the events are difficult to read. Both Nadine, & a main character in the last part of the book suffer from depression & one of them also suffers from bipolar disorder. Nadine also commits suicide. Despite these parts being hard to read I liked how they were written & they felt very believable. I don’t know if the author has experienced depression but as someone who is currently struggling with her mental health, I do think the representation was presented well & the triggers for both Nadine & the other character with mental health issues, were perfectly believable. Nadine’s suicide scene involves her throwing herself into a lake, off of a bridge & this scene had an odd beauty to it. Nadine died how she lived, & if you read the book you’ll understand what I mean.
Nadine is a complicated book, with a complex protagonist, but for the right person it could be a very gripping story that could easily break a reader’s heart. Writer John Steinberg has created an enthralling drama that some people will definitely become obsessed with & he is definitely a talented writer.
Amazon.co.uk | Amazon.com
John Steinberg was born in 1952 and spent many years in business before becoming a writer in 2007. Since then, he has co-written and produced comedies for the stage and has created a series of books for children. Nadine is his third novel. He is married with three children and lives in North London.
You can find his website here.
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