Picture of author.

Meg Howrey

Author of City of Dark Magic

6 Works 2,126 Members 124 Reviews 1 Favorited

About the Author

Image credit: via Goodreads


Works by Meg Howrey

City of Dark Magic (2012) 918 copies
The Wanderers (2017) 495 copies
City of Lost Dreams (2013) 238 copies
The Cranes Dance (2012) 237 copies
They're Going to Love You (2022) 123 copies
Blind Sight (2011) 115 copies


2012 (11) 2017 (11) adult (11) alchemy (22) ARC (17) astronauts (8) audiobook (12) ballet (31) Beethoven (31) contemporary fiction (8) ebook (18) family (11) fantasy (111) fiction (182) goodreads (10) historical fiction (12) Kindle (17) library (11) magic (29) Mars (13) mental illness (10) music (27) mystery (28) novel (8) paranormal (27) Prague (46) read (14) read in 2017 (9) read in 2018 (9) romance (12) science fiction (61) sf (8) sff (10) sisters (13) space (14) time travel (34) to-read (315) unread (14) urban fantasy (11) Vienna (11)

Common Knowledge

Other names
Flyte, Magnus
20th century
Illinois, USA
Places of residence
New York, New York, USA
Los Angeles, California, USA
ballet dancer
Joffrey Ballet
Short biography
Half of the duo that is Magnus Flyte.



Much darker and more ballet-y than Howrey's more recent ballet novel (They're Going to Love You, which I loved) and also less original -- it felt pretty of a kind with others in the "woman's descent in mental illness" genre. Which isn't to say that it wasn't good! It was very good. I found the voice of charmingly cynical narrator Kate both compelling and entertaining, and the descriptions of Gwen's illness were genuinely quite eerie (the mouse thing! what the fuck!!!). If you're looking for something creepy and thriller-y, but not an actual honest-to-god thriller, this would be a good pick.… (more)
maddietherobot | 18 other reviews | Oct 21, 2023 |
A year ago, I was going my rounds of the local little libraries when I found what sounded like a very good book. Ballet! Fraught relationships! A mysterious event from the past that the narration will coyly avoid clarifying until the split-timeline climax!

This is not that book. (That book was The Ballerinas by Rachel Kepelke-Dale, and it wasn't any good at all.) This book is what I wanted that book to be. Which is very lucky for me, because I bought this book new (!!!!) for full price and everything.

Meg Howrey does a great job at constructing emotionally complex relationships between her characters. Carlisle's desire for her fathers' love and loyalty—and her complementary neglect of her relationship with her mother—felt realistically painful and naive. And the invisible weight of misogyny, both in her personal and professional relationships, felt—for lack of a better word—very real. Reminiscent of the feeling I had reading Elena Ferrante's Neapolitan novels—yes, this person gets it, yes, this person lives in the world I live in. It's not quite a favorite, but I'm sure I'll be recommending it people. It would make a great book club read.

As for my one and only negative note: the more books I read, the more I sour on nonlinearity. It feels like a cheap ploy for tension, like the author doesn't trust the narrative they've constructed to stand on its own merits. I think I would have liked this better if it were told more straightforwardly. The emotional consequences of Carlisle's estrangement from her fathers would have been weightier if the narrative lingered there longer, instead of resolving the estrangement as soon as we understand why and how it happened.
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maddietherobot | 6 other reviews | Oct 21, 2023 |
I am about as graceful as a duck in a tutu, wobbly and pigeon-toed but that doesn't stop me from being attracted to books set in the professional dance world. There's something so dreamy about ballerinas, pancake tutus, pointe shoes, and the seemingly effortless way they glide across a stage. But all that ethereal grace and art hide a tough and punishing underside: stress on the body, serious athletics, hard work, body expectations both for weight and height, dedication, and a short professional window. Meg Howrey's remarkable novel of a father and daughter's relationship, They're Going to Love You, revolves around this competitive and unforgiving world.

Told from the perspective of an adult Carlisle, and alternating between her past and present, this is a story of family drama, love, belonging, betrayal, the sometimes fragile bond of the parent/child relationship, finding peace, and ballet. Carlisle is the daughter of a former Ballanchine ballerina and a noted choreographer. Her parents divorced when she was young and she only got to see her father and his partner James for a few weeks in the summer. She adored life with her father and James, who recognized her natural talent and mentored her in the dance world. She wanted more than anything to belong to them and to their NYC dance world, despite the devastation that AIDS was wreaking in it, and she seemed to be well on her way to becoming a professional ballerina herself. But something happened both professionally and personally and she's been estranged from her father and James for years when she receives a phone call from James telling her that her father is dying and she should come back to NYC to say goodbye.

The cause of the estrangement is only slowly revealed as Carlisle relives for the reader the summer that the rupture occurred. She's a fascinating character and the novel is first person so we see all of her hestitations, questions, and regrets. It's easy to see that even as a 40 or 50 year old woman, she's still looking to be someone's first choice (James is her father's first choice and her step-father and half brother are her mother's). As she prepares to go to New York to see her father again, can she put the past aside, forgive, and finally choose herself no matter what awaits her? The ballet pieces are interesting and technical, but not too technical for non-dancers. The writing itself is elegant and balletic and the story presents common themes in intriguing new ways.

This novel is one of the Women's National Book Association's Great Group Reads for 2023.
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whitreidtan | 6 other reviews | Oct 12, 2023 |
DNF at 6%. Hella boring.
ilkjen | 31 other reviews | Aug 12, 2023 |



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Associated Authors

Rodica Prato Illustrator
Elke Sigal Designer
Jim Tierney Cover designer
Mozhan Marno Narrator
Natalie Gold Narrator


½ 3.6

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