Carlisle Martin dreams of becoming a professional ballet dancer like her mother Isabel. She only gets to see her father Robert, and his brilliant but troubled partner James, for a few precious weeks a year when she visits their enchanted apartment in Greenwich Village. James educates her in all that he holds dear in life: literature, music, and most of all, dance. As the years go by, Carlisle is desperate to be asked to stay permanently, even as AIDS brings devastation to their community. Instead, a passionate love affair creates a rift between them, with devastating consequences that reverberate for decades to come. Nineteen years later, Carlisle receives a phone call which unravels the fateful events of her life…
They’re Going to Love You is a gripping and gorgeously written novel of heartbreaking intensity. With psychological precision and a masterfully revealed secret at its heart, it asks what it takes to be an artist, and the price of forgiveness, of ambition, and of love.
They’re Going To Love You is an enjoyable novel that follows Carlisle, a ballet dancer with a family deeply involved in the dance industry, and the impact of a single summer on their relationships.
Carlisle’s parents divorced when she was young, and she lived with her mother while visiting her father Richard and his partner James at their house on Bank Street for a few weeks each year. The story is told in two timelines – Carlisle as a young adult in the 1980s when AIDS took many of Richard and James’s friends, and Carlisle as a 40-something-year-old woman, who learns that her father is dying after not seeing him for 20 years.
While the switching between timelines could be confusing at times, it offered a deeper understanding of Carlisle’s relationships with her parents. Although dance was central to Carlisle’s family, the book didn’t dwell on it, which was a plus for me as someone who isn’t hugely interested in dance.
The pacing of the book was sometimes slow, with some parts dragging on a bit, but the scenes that explored the estranged relationship between Carlisle and Richard were intriguing. While some aspects of the plot seemed a bit far-fetched and more suitable for a YA novel, it was an easy read that I flew through.
Overall, They’re Going To Love You is an interesting book about human relationships that is not without flaws, but still enjoyable.