“The Enchanted Sonata” by Heather Dixon Wallwork

Thanks to Amazon and Netgalley for the review copy. I received this in exchange for an honest review.

This novel is an adaptation of the Nutcracker story. I’ve never even seen the Nutcracker ballet so prior to reading this book my knowledge of Nutcrackers extended to the little wooden guys you hang on the Christmas tree and something about a Sugar Plum Fairy.

I thought it might be a nice Christmassy read, something nice and fluffy to get me into the Christmas spirit. It is a nice read with the emphasis on ‘nice.’

The book is peppered throughout with musical terms which clearly show the author’s musical background and knowledge. Anyone familiar with musical lingo will get a kick out this aspect of the novel. Clara is a likeable heroine although not always the sharpest knife in the drawer.

My main issues were with the characters. The villain and the supporting characters seemed a little one dimensional and I don’t feel like I really got to know any of them aside from Clara. The side plot between Alexei and Zizi in particular didn’t interest me at all. Although the story started off promising, the momentum began to drag as it progressed. The dialogue could be a little strange and lacklustre with repetitive responses consisting of ‘oh’ and ‘hm’.

I think it’s always going to be difficult to represent a visual spectacle such as a ballet in words but this simple story was dragged out too long for what the plot actually consisted of. I’m aware the author is a story lead at Disney and a Disney film is what this story reminded me of sometimes, something perhaps better represented on film that in text. A sweet story but not for me.

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