Prologue: An Unconventional Life
Joan Brady grew up in California, the daughter of a blacklisted economics professor and his strong-willed, powerfully jealous wife. Dancing lessons took Joan away from the tensions between these two and she turned out to be extremely gifted. By the Age of 20 she was dancing with the most important company in the Western world, the New York City Ballet, then at the height of its artistic powers. At the crucial moment, Joan lost her confidence and so her chance at stardom. Dance had taught her discipline, technique and courage and now she needed these qualities to fight her mother, whose vengeance had destroyed her prospects, and to claim for herself the love of Dexter Masters, whom her love had coveted for years. Joan won her man, a degree and a new family life in England. Then, years later, she decided to take up ballet again, retraining to performance level, and another chance.
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