84 Ribbons

84 Ribbons

by Paddy Eger



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84 Ribbons by Paddy Eger

The Debut novel by award-winning author Paddy Eger

A young dancer's realizes her life long dream, if only for a while.

Seventeen year old Marta Selbryth realizes her dream of becoming a professional dancer when the Intermountain Ballet Company in Billings, Montana invites her to join their 1957 season. As Marta's new life unfolds, she must learn to face not only the successes of dancing in the corps de ballet, but the challenges and setbacks that might crush the dream she's had for so long.

After a couple of mishaps, Marta settles into life in a boarding house located near the ballet company. Her landlady, Mrs. B., is friendly, reduces her rent when Marta's offers to bake for the boarders and later allows her to use the basement as a practice studio. The two male boarders are supportive; Carol, a fellow boarder, ignores her.

Marta spends her free time practicing when she's not spending time with her new friends Lynne and Bartley, her fellow corps dancers. Their time together becomes an important lifeline through their first year.

Madame Cosper, the artistic director, is a demanding woman. Marta begins their association poorly when she makes a disastrous choice. Expecting expulsion, Marta receives a second chance in the form of dancing the unpopular character roles during the fall and winter performances. Marta determines to dance every role with confidence in hopes of proving to Madame that she's up for every challenge.

Steve, a young college man and a reporter, spots Marta when he's assigned to write an article about ballet for the local paper. He's attracted to her and begins his pursuit. Over the months ahead, he becomes her tour guide of the area and attempts to convince Marta to be his girl. But her steadfast focus is ballet and some of her adventures with him lead to problems with Madame Cosper.

Shortly after Christmas, everything changes for Marta, Bartley and Steve. Significant events permanently influence their lives. Each must deal with exhilaration and heartbreak as well as frustration and changes that test their ability to cope.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780985893323
Publisher: Tendril Press, LLC
Publication date: 03/15/2014
Pages: 346
Product dimensions: 5.70(w) x 8.20(h) x 1.10(d)
Age Range: 12 - 17 Years

About the Author

Paddy Eger entered the world of professional writing in 2000. Her publishing credits include dozens of newspaper and magazine articles, a hundred web and education blog articles, three book awards for her nonfiction book Educating America:101 Strategies for Adult Assistants in K-8 Classrooms and praise for Educating America Desktop Flipbook.

Paddy graduated from the University of Washington and taught elementary school for more than twenty years. When Paddy taught in the PCEP, a co-op public school, she established a training program for classroom volunteers that became the foundation for her Educating America books.

After she retired from teaching she also discovered her enthusiasm for fiction writing. Paddy says, “Stories come to me like an itch; they refuse to leave until I promise to scratch around for their meaning and write them down.”

Her first novel ideas grew from her first love, dancing. From age three until twenty she took lessons in tap, character, jazz and ballet. She performed in recitals, area functions, musicals and for a World's Fair. When Paddy began teaching she produced original poems, dances and songs for her classroom students to encouraged free movement activities that foster student creativity. She often organized classroom and school-wide talent shows.

Her love of being raised as a small-town girl and a desire to create realistic stories where skill and steady persistence open doors for dancers became the foundation for 84 Ribbons. The story blossomed to a trilogy with the next books, When the Music Stops and Letters to Follow due for release soon.

Paddy's debut novel, 84 Ribbons, focuses on the fiercely competitive world of ballet. The YA novels follow two young women through their first years of professional dancing as they balance day-to-day life with the complex world of ballet. Paddy believes writing and dancing share several traits. Both require practice and perseverance as well as a good sense of movement and a desire to share self-expression.

Follow Paddy on Facebook, sign up for her newsletter and visit Chat, Comment and Connect on this website for opportunities to get involved in her story development and more. Her books are available at select bookstores, libraries and online booksellers. For more information on publishing credits and her writing blog visit PaddyEger.com.

In addition to the ballet trilogy, Paddy's soon to be released Tasman, is a YA adventure novel inspired by a trip to the infamous penal colony in Port Arthur, Tasmania. Intrigued by the true story of a documented inmate imprisoned for stealing a handkerchief, the story of Ean emerged. It began as a poem, grew to a short story and evolved into the novel, Tasman. The young Irishman travels from England to the prison, wondering if he'll survive the brutality during his three-year sentence or attempt a daring escape.

To foster and train her inner writer Paddy attends numerous writing classes and writing conferences, including Write on the Sound, a conference in her hometown of Edmonds, Washington—a creative, artistic and writing community along Puget Sound. She participates in two writing groups and attends area writing functions where she meets with other talented writers. Speaking about the craft of writing with groups also interests Paddy.

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84 Ribbons 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 6 reviews.
RyleyBluebird997 More than 1 year ago
I deeply love this novel. I am also a dancer myself, so the book really speaks to me as a dancer and teenager. It gives me such warmth inside to read about things I love so much, such as ballet. You can relate to this book in so many ways, one way is injuries, which all dancers go through. Also in the novel Marta has a love interest, which everyone can relate to. Another thing that you can connect to is, for lack of a better word, the illness. From my personal experience I have a dear friend who is a beautiful dancer but she had to leave my ballet school due to an eating disorder, which is just like what happens in the novel. After reading 84 Ribbons I understood how hard it was for her and I now feel more empathy for her. Marta has a special bond with her mother, and many people will be able to relate to that very special bond. There are so many more countless ways this book speaks to its readers whether the reader is a dancer or a person who doesn’t know about the dance world, because they are able to learn and relate to all the challenges us dancers go through. I couldn’t get enough of this book. Whenever I got the chance at night I would read and enjoy every moment of the book! I look forward to the other books of this trilogy to come out. This novel truly filled my heart and soul with joy. I highly recommend it to whoever wants to learn about the art of ballet or enjoy more of it.
MargieS1 More than 1 year ago
Given To Me For An Honest Review 84 Ribbons by Paddy Eger gives us a great coming of age story set in the world of ballet.  It tells us about addiction and weight issues.  Showing everyone that we all have problems.  The main character is Marta.  Marta will do anything will do anything to reach her goal.   In doing this, she finds herself making some big mistakes.  Many young people will be able to relate to Marta's struggles.  I enjoyed reading this book and I think others would too.  I recommend it.  I look forward to more from Paddy Eger.
Trisha74 More than 1 year ago
Loved, loved, loved this beautifully written Novel! Great summer read! I am excited for the author to release her next book!
dmoitzh More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed this book and found it to be a story that drew me in and kept me interested in Marta and her life. She is a young ballet dancer who is striving for 84 ribbons from her ballet shoes. These ribbons represent her life long goal; to become a prima ballet dancer with her own solos. Her struggles from being away from home for the first time I her life, making friends, finding enemies, experiencing love, and above all - finding herself. I suggest giving this book a try.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I bought 84 Ribbons for a friend to give to her granddaughter, a young woman attending a Ballet  School in Canada.  After reading the story, she remarked in hushed voice,"Grandma, this is just  like me."
NJJENKINS More than 1 year ago
Reading 84 Ribbons is like opening a gift and finding hidden treasures beneath every layer of tissue paper. This book is about a young woman who has has spent a great part of her life preparing for a career as a ballerina at the professional performance level. What an eye-opener it was for this reader to discover the rigorous work, sacrifice and determination it requires to become a performance ballerina. Marta Selbryth gives ballet her all, leaving  home at 17 after auditioning and being selected to try out for the Intermountain Ballet Company. She endures hardships and excruciating practices, and is finally selected to perform. Her nemesis, Madame Cosper, is biased against her, making Marta work all the harder. I'll not give away the sources of Marta'spain, both personal and professional, that would cause a less-dedicated ballerina to walk away from her career. Paddy Eger has such a lyrical voice. Her story is landscaped with believable characters, breathtaking settings, and a story line that includes the beauty of spring as well as the harsh reality of winter. Every chapter surprises the reader, twists and turns you've not expected make 84 Ribbons a real page-turner. Congratulations go out to Paddy Eger. Her book is a Winner.  I look forward to more books from this very talented author.