Synopses & Reviews
"A love story reminiscent of that of my grandparents. I could not put it down." — Kinga Nijinsky
"Germaine Shames' beautiful depiction of the life of Margit Wolf and Pasquale Frustaci is told with such vivid and haunting detail, it's as if the reader is propelled back in time to witness a devastating journey of shattered dreams, juxtaposed with the strength and courage of the human heart. A tragic story, beautifully written." — Susan Jaffe, "America's quintessential ballerina"
"Germaine paints a vivid and accurate portrait of the world of ballet in pre and post-war Europe. The epic drama expected on the ballet stage is dwarfed by thetragic real life events of her ballerina heroine, Margit Wolf. Penetrating descriptions of political brutality and the prepossession of romantic love, an ever present theme in classical ballet, make for a page-turning, impelling read." — Janet Panetta, Ballet Master Tanztheater Pina Bausch
"Shames captures the essence of a ballerina with such expertise in her riveting story. Dancers succeed by creating beauty from effort; this book, too, shows that exquisite art can be made from history's hardships." Elana Altman, soloist dancer, San Francisco Ballet
"An epic story and a true story. This woman's life is the kind of character journey that makes for great movies." — Howard Allen, "the Script Doctor"
"Compelling, heart-wrenching and heroic!" Jim Bencivenga, Christian Science Monitor
In the final weeks of 1938, in the shadow of Kristallnacht and imminent war, a heartsick Italian maestro wrote a love song called Tu Solamente Tu
Its lyrics lamented his forced separation from his wife, the Hungarian ballerina Margit Wolf, in the wake of Mussolini's edict banishing foreign Jews from Italy. The song, first recorded by Vittorio de Sica in 1939, catapulted to the top of the Hit Parade and earned its composer the moniker "the Italian Cole Porter." The German version, Du Immer Wieder Du, would be performed by Zarah Leander, the foremost film star of the German Reich, and its English counterpart, You, Fascinating You, by the Glenn Miller Army Air Force Band.
Twenty-two years would pass before the maestro and his ballerina again met face-to-face.
You, Fascinating You begins as a backstage romance and ends as an epic triumph of the human spirit.
About the Author
Germaine Shames scours the globe in search of compelling stories. Shames is author of Between Two Deserts, two earlier nonfiction books, and three feature screenplays. A former foreign correspondent and contributor to Hemispheres, More, and National Geographic Traveler, she has lived and worked in such diverse locations as the Australian outback, Swiss Alps, interior of Bulgaria, coast of Colombia, Fiji Islands, and Gaza Strip. With You, Fascinating You the author returns to her roots in the performing arts to reveal a hidden story painstakingly researched across three countries over the course of five years.