Given that I have spent the last decade immersed in motherhood stories, and given my lifetime love affair with the stage, it comes as no surprise that Janine Kovac’s beautifully crafted memoir Spinning: Choreography for Coming Home kept me turning the pages.
Wait. Actually it is a surprise, because I’ve heard, read, and written hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of mother stories. While I can appreciate nearly any true story of motherhood, to really grip me and keep me with you after all these mother words takes something special. Spinning is something special.
When Janine Kovac gives birth to micro preemie twins nearly four months before they are due, she channels the grace and strength that carried her through a successful ballet career. The human body has amazing healing powers if you just know how to listen to it. But old habits bring up old haunts and bitter memories–the futile quest for perfection and a career-ending injury. In the sterile, fluorescent world of the NICU, ballet breeds hope as the twins make a miraculous recovery. Can it also bring resolution to the dancer so many years after the abrupt and painful end to the career she loved so much? — Amazon synopsis
The combination of Kovac’s insider look into the life of a professional ballet dancer (and her struggle with finding a new identity when it abruptly ends) woven together with the crisis of her tiny twins’ dangerous arrival and precarious survival, literally made me deep breathe along with her. The unique details of Kovac’s experiences held me rapt, but her existential crisis of new motherhood felt very familiar, as she and her husband and 3-year-old daughter struggled to find their footing with the crisis of new babies (very very fragile ones at that), and as Kovac wrestled with memories of her younger self and paths not taken.
Janine not only writes, but she devotes her time and resources to providing opportunities for other creative women. She served as local director for LISTEN TO YOUR MOTHER: San Francisco, and she’s a founding member of the nonprofit group Write On Mamas. She recently co-founded Moxie Road Productions “a consulting firm that helps women bring their ideas into the world” with her LTYM San Francisco co-producer Tarja Parssinen. Learn more about author Janine Kovac here.
Support Janine by buying her book here! Make sure to help an author out immensely by leaving a review on Amazon and/or goodreads if you love it (and I think you will)! And/or leave a comment below about one of your former selves still spinning around within you, and I’ll choose a winner at random to receive a free copy of Spinning (continental US only). I’ll leave entries open through end of day 10/1/17.