The Double Happiness Company / Ballet, family and love
Set against the backdrop of the Vietnam War, The Double Happiness Company by Anne Aylor is a poignant and humorous novel about fate, weight and ballet that will appeal to anyone who has ever had, or chased, a dream.
The story tells of the protagonist, Katie Rivers, who lives and breathes ballet. We explore her fractured family’s secrets, their deep yet unspoken love for each other and the decisions that will change their lives forever.
When she turns 15, Katie constructs an escape from her culturally-deserted home town in New Mexico, into the extraordinarily rigorous and cultural world of professional dance. She breaks away from her dysfunctional family of eccentric half-Cherokee mother Lola, wisecracking father Haywood and Kawasaki-crazy brother Rhett. We see Katie progress to a leading role in the famous ballet, Petrouchka, and the constant play between this and dichotomy of her monotonous home life.
After a severe knee injury that threatens to end her career, we see Katie reluctantly return home where she quickly descends into depression and obesity. However, a lucky break gives Katie the incentive she needs to lose weight and go to New York City, the dance capital of the world to pursue her ballet career.
During the five years that she is away in New York, dramatic events take place. The Vietnam draft lottery results in her adored brother, Rhett, being disowned by their parents. Haywood’s bonfire of Rhett’s belongings is symbolic of Katie’s now-shattered family.
The Double Happiness Company is a compelling story of how a family can pull themselves apart and the lengths that a daughter will go to to try and bring her family back together.
Listen to Chapter Four of The Double Happiness Company below, or click here to watch the video trailer.
The Double Happiness Company by Anne Aylor is published by BareBone Books on Thursday 27th January, priced £9.99.