For those who love a true story of determination, full of dreams, love and hope.
For those who are fans of the Australian TV series, Doctor Doctor you may know of Chloe Bayliss. She plays the part of young Hayley Mills Knight and is ideal for the part. But her life was never meant to be in the acting world. She was destined for a life of dance. Years and years of tireless practice, pain and exams had led her to realising her dream of studying in America. At 16 years old, she was accepted into a pre-professional ballet school in Washington DC. But just when everything in her life seemed to be coming together, things began to unravel, and her life took a different turn.
At age 28 Bayliss has decided to share her story in the hope that it will give others the strength to overcome a life threatening illness, or maybe some other issue that they find overwhelming, of which they cannot possibly see a way out.
In En Pointe, Bayliss begins by telling us about her early life. She began dancing on stage at the age of three. She became addicted to dance and even left her home town of Port Macquarie at the age of fourteen to train fulltime at a dance school in Newcastle. Three years later everything stopped when she found herself facing the biggest challenge of her life. She found herself in hospital fighting for her life.
Bayliss did not want to write this book because she was understandably afraid people would judge her for her illness and not her ability, but I am glad she found the courage to tell us her story. It is well written, and feels genuine, heartfelt and honest.
A soft pink cover with a beautiful photo of Bayliss as a ballerina makes it seem like it will be a story of joy, which is also there. But Bayliss wants the take away to be one of never giving up on your dreams; keep fighting no matter what the world throws at you; and stay strong. If possible, surround yourself with people you love and most importantly, who love you.
I enjoyed this book immensely and for lovers of dance, stories of succeeding against all odds, or those who just love a good yarn, En Pointe is well worth a read.
Reviewed by Sue Mauger
Distributed by: Pantera Press
Released: September 2019
RRP: $24.99 paperback, $9.99 eBook