From the back of the book:
When principal ballerina Sasha Davis suffers a career-ending injury at age thirty-eight, she leaves her Boston-based dance company and retreats to the home of her youth in Minnesota. But Sasha’s injuries limit her as much as her mother’s recent death haunts her. Concluding she can’t recover alone, Sasha reluctantly hires a temporary live-in aide.
Enter the uber-capable Evelyn Burt. As large-boned as Sasha is delicate, Evelyn is her employer’s opposite in every way. Small town to Sasha’s urban chic, outgoing to Sasha’s iciness, and undaunted where Sasha is hopeless, nineteen-year-old Evelyn is newly engaged and sees the world as one big, shiny opportunity.
Evelyn soon discovers Sasha needs to heal more than bones. Slowly, as the wounds begin to mend and the tables tilt, the two women form an unlikely alliance and discover the astounding power of event he smallest act done in the name of love. Finding Our Way Home is a story of second chances and lavish grace.
About the Author:
Charlene Ann Baumbich is the author of the Dearest Dorothy series, Stray Affections, and Divine Appointments, as well as several nonfiction books of humor and inspiration. She is also a popular speaker, an award-winning journalist, and lives with her husband in Glen Ellyn, Illinois.
Finding Our Way Home is a story about an unlikely pairing up of two women with equally strong, but dramatically different personalities. Sasha Davis, a 37-yr-old professional ballerina, has a career-ending accident that sends her spiraling into an ocean of bitterness, anger, and physical pain. Abruptly abandoning her dancing life, her hugely supportive and loving husband, and her circle of friends who remind her too much of what she’s lost, she hides herself away in her mother’s home, keeping most of the house closed up, while she spends much of her time sitting in a rocking chair glaring – not gazing – out the window at her memories of what her life used to be.
She hires an assistant, Evelyn Burt, a 19-yr-old, “large-boned” girl who prays in one word, “Grace.” Evelyn is just the opposite of Sasha – she finds hope and possibility in even the worst circumstances and situations…and people, including Sasha Davis. Evelyn is also engaged to Jorden McFinn, a young man with a “playboy” reputation, questionable roots, and from the wrong part of town. Evelyn’s parents do not approve; which is why she has taken the live-in position with Sasha Davis. She’s trying to get some perspective on her future, away from their loving, albeit over-bearing pressure.
This is the first book I’ve read by Ms. Baumbich, and I have mixed feelings about Finding Our Way Home. I’m a voracious reader who gets “attached” to characters quickly, but that was not the case with this cast. Although I enjoyed Ms. Baumbich’s prose and lyrical style, I felt that the story was weighed down by characters who were not quite believable. If Sasha Davis can walk away from everything in her old life (including a devoted husband who relentlessly pursues her throughout her withdrawal, and whom she supposedly deeply loves, too), she certainly would have no qualms in dismissing Evelyn Burt the moment the girl tries to push too hard. Evelyn Burt, who apparently has a gift for being able to see people for who they are underneath their masks, still seemed overly naive about Jorden McFinn. And Jorden McFinn was textbook bad boy (too many cliches), but we’re given no back story, no substance for us to care about him…making me question the genuineness of Evelyn’s “love” for him. By the end of the book, the direction of their relationship seemed a little contrived.
Although the previous paragraph would indicate otherwise, I feel this book has many promising qualities. The characters were understandable, if not wholly believable, and the prevailing message of grace made me want good things for these women, and for the important people in their lives. Evelyn’s undaunted spirit in light of her oft adverse circumstances was a sharp contrast to Sasha’s poisoned spirit in light of all she had going for her, something I’m certain the author intended readers to note. I found myself rooting for Evelyn and all that she expected out of life, and I found myself longing for Sasha’s healing both physically and emotionally.
I DO recommend this book, especially to those who have some knowledge of the world of dance, but not completely without reservation. I feel that Ms. Baumbich has a lovely way with words, however, she did not endear me to these characters in the way I’d hoped.
Readers: Have you ever been surprised by a book, one you had your doubts about but turned out to be a page-turner/tear-jerker/didn’t-want-it-to-end kind of book? Won’t you share with us?
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