A Time to Dance: Book summary and reviews of A Time to Dance by Padma Venkatraman

A Time to Dance

by Padma Venkatraman

A Time to Dance by Padma Venkatraman
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  • Published in USA  May 2014
    320 pages
    Genre: Novels

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Book Summary

Padma Venkatraman's inspiring story of a young girl's struggle to regain her passion and find a new peace is told lyrically through verse that captures the beauty and mystery of India and the ancient bharatanatyam dance form. This is a stunning novel about spiritual awakening, the power of art, and above all, the courage and resilience of the human spirit.

Veda, a classical dance prodigy in India, lives and breathes dance? - so when an accident leaves her a below-knee amputee, her dreams are shattered. For a girl who's grown used to receiving applause for her dance prowess and flexibility, adjusting to a prosthetic leg is painful and humbling. But Veda refuses to let her disability rob her of her dreams, and she starts all over again, taking beginner classes with the youngest dancers. Then Veda meets Govinda, a young man who approaches dance as a spiritual pursuit. As their relationship deepens, Veda reconnects with the world around her, and begins to discover who she is and what dance truly means to her.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Veda's questions about the nature of God, her growth as an artist while performing a Buddhist tale of grief and acceptance, and her transcendent experiences linked to Shiva, often portrayed as a dancer, lend depth to her spiritual journey. Ages 12–up. " - Publishers Weekly

"Starred Review. Set against a cardamom, melted butter, and semolina sojji-wafted landscape, the novel's emotional expression and accompanying music impel the reader to share Veda's belief that 'Shiva dances everywhere. In everyone. In everything.' " - Booklist

"Starred Review. A beautiful integration of art, religion, compassion and connection." - Kirkus Reviews

"Starred Review. The descriptions of contemporary India are beautiful and Venkatraman weaves images so divine that you can see the statues of Shiva, hear the ankle bells in the bharatanatyam dance, and smell the acrid scent of burnt rubber from the accident. Told in verse, this story is magnificently strong as Veda's determination dances off the page and into the reader's heart." - VOYA

"Starred Review.This exceptional novel, told entirely in verse, captures beautifully the emotions of a girl forced to deal with a number of challenges and how she overcomes them on her way to becoming a confident young woman. It is sure to appeal to readers who are also trying to find their place in the world." - School Library Journal

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Padma Venkatraman (www.padmasbooks.com) is an oceanographer by training and a writer by choice. Her critically acclaimed novels Climbing the Stairs and Island's End were both ALA/YALSA Best Books for Young Adults, Booklist Editor's Choice BBYAs, Amelia Bloomer list selections and CCBC choices, in addition to winning several other honors and awards (such as the South Asia Book Award, Paterson Prize, Julia Ward Howe BAC award, NYPL Book for the Teen Age, Kirkus Best Book of the Year, Booksense Notable, and PW Flying Start). Padma was born in India, but is now an American citizen and lives with her family in Rhode Island.

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