By: Alyson Richman
Published Year: 2019
I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. This in no way shape or form influenced my opinion of this book.
Summary (Provided by Goodreads): Katya, a rising ballerina, and Sasha, a graduate student, are young and in love when an unexpected tragedy befalls their native Kiev. Years later, after the couple has safely emigrated to America the consequences of this incident cause their son, Yuri, to be born with a rare health condition that isolates him from other children. Maggie, a passionate and dedicated teacher agrees to tutor Yuri at his home, even though she is haunted by her own painful childhood memories. As the two forge a deep and soulful connection, Yuri's boundless curiosity and unique wisdom inspires Maggie to make difficult changes in her own life. And she'll never realize just how strong Yuri has made her — until she needs that strength the most......
A novel that will make readers examine what it means to live life with a full heart.
The cover is so colorful. I love it! it definitely would’ve caught my eye. The summary itself I was a little iffy on, but once there was a mention of a ballerina I got sucked in.
What I thought
Have you ever read one of those books that as soon as you finished it you thought “this is the kind of book that can change lives?” This for sure is one of those types of books. I can see this book easily reaching and impacting so many people.
Maggie is a 6th grade English teacher. During her second year of teaching she is asked to home tutor a 6th grade student who is too sick/weak to come into school. While she is initially nervous about accepting the tutoring position, she does so after long discussion with her family. Yuri is the son of two Ukrainian immigrants, Katya and Sasha. Katya used to be a ballerina and Sasha is a scientist. Through Maggie’s tutoring, the family forms a close bond that impacts everybody’s lives.
Maggie is the ideal young English teacher. She is passionate, energized, and still has the rose colored glasses that only comes with being early in your career. She has recently moved out to Long Island with her college boyfriend, so there is also some life stories that occur. Yuri, has a heart condition that causes his weakness. Since he was constantly sick in 5th grade, his doctor has recommended that this year he does not attend school. He is also a baseball fanatic and this comes into play a lot in the story.
I can so easily picture this book becoming a movie. It has multiple inspirational characters including, most obviously, Maggie and Yuri, but also side characters like Maggie’s parents and her close friend Suzie. The story is heartwarming and follows a lot of (for lack of a better term) tropes of movies that can pull on your heartstrings.
There is some drama with Maggie and her college boyfriend Bill that I could’ve done without. I didn’t find that storyline to be necessary. I think that he could’ve been removed completely without any impact on the story.
Even though the story is relatively predictable, the writing makes this story fly. While it was a little slow to start, once I got into it I couldn’t put this story down. It’s a little hard for me to talk about this book too much because I don’t want to ruin the experience of it for anyone.
Basically, the writing and the characters are top notch and, with the exception of the love storyline, I can’t find much fault with this book.