Sunday, September 2, 2012

What I’ve been reading lately

The title on this post is a little misleading. Isaac hung around far too long on the Mississippi coast. My husband and I and our extended family suffered little damage. I did, however, allow the days spent indoors to suck every bit of get up and go out of me. One result is that the desire to post remained alive, but even turning my computer on was almost beyond me.

Ballet nomenclature in my daughter-in-law’s post on the Daily Skup about granddaughter Molly Kate’s summer ballet and tap lessons jogged my memory about Tour de Force, a novel by Elizabeth White. I had read that novel about the high-powered—and to me, unfamiliar—world of professional ballet and jotted some notes for a post before my stroke in April 2011. I'm using those pre-stroke thoughts to prime the pump for my getting out of the Isaac blahs and back to posting.

The author is the niece of a family friend, and I enjoyed that personal connection as I read the autographed copy that White’s aunt had loaned my mother. The book wasn’t the first of White’s efforts that I had read.

But Tour de Force exhibits White’s growth in her dialogue, pacing and ability to capture the essence of the lives of southern, family-oriented, evangelical Christians. I enjoyed this romance that intertwined ballet with the southern church-going family life that was my world growing up. I found Gilly, the principal female character and a rising star in the world of New York ballet, endearing. The characters’ interactions, struggles, and consequences of decisions good and bad made interesting reading.

“Fluff” in the form of romance with brave, pure-as-the-driven-snow heroines is a weakness of mine, even though I get aggravated when the heroine’s dire straits are resolved by a convenient and improbable happening. There was a similar situation in this book.

I believe in miracles and God’s care and have seen that in my own life, including my stroke survival and aftermath. But my experience with miracles through the years has usually been with impossible situations that have resolved in totally unexpected but seemingly natural ways. If I had not believed my prayer was answered and had not been expecting and watching for the seen to catch up to the unseen reality, I would have missed God’s hand at work.

The dramatic miracle in the book did not ruin the story for me, though. If you like the Christian romance genre, this is a fairly well crafted read.


  1. when i saw your photo I thought you had taken up toe dancing and that was your legs. HA HA... i am the product of southern church-going family life, dad was a Baptist minister. but there was no dancing allowed, no cards, no games, no make up, no pants until the mid 70's...

  2. I am glad you enjoyed the book. Often, I buy a book on my Kindle, but am sorely disappointed in it and set it aside. Waste of money!

  3. So happy to read that your get up and go has returned and that you and your family are safe.
    Sometimes it truly is difficult to get motivated. If reading a good book works that's terrific.
    I need to get back into reading mode myself.
    Have a wonderful week Linda.

  4. I'm happy to hear that you survived "Isaac" staying dry and in tact. I've been looking (with horror) at all of the water he left behind. We're enjoying our third full day of sunshine after many days of rain.

    I've been slow to post lately, but hopefully will get back to business this week. I have some chicken and gardening updates to write :)

    I do enjoy being able to escape into a good book. I'll keep the one you mentioned in mind...

  5. Glad you stayed dry through Issac. I, too, wondered if you were dancing now, or had in earlier years.

    During the few years I lived in a southern state, I visited a Baptist church occasionally and was quite shocked one morning when they announced a young 16 year old God-fearing church member was being ejected from church membership because she engaged in ballet dance class lessons. Likewise, our public school could not even engage in old-fashioned folk dances like the Virginia Reel, much less regular social dancing of the time. Also, that same Baptist church on another Sunday morning announced they were sending off to Indiana a 16 yr old young male "minister" to "convert the heathens!" (I never forgot those words.) I had spent my early years in the State next door, Ohio, and knew Indiana, too, so it came as quite a surprise to me to learn of the perception that we were all so populated by heathens, unlike those who lived in the State where I was then, I guess. I couldn't help wondering how they judged me.

    A male family member was a professional ballet dancer and in NYC for a time -- quite an athletic endeavor. Eventually, he concluded he had achieved his maximum potential, returned to university, went into business, started a family. I still treasure the photos of him and wish I could have seen him dance.

  6. Probably not my kind of book. I'm not into fluffy romances but enjoy fluffy thrillers instead, when I dare to read one.

    Overly religious books also put me off, I like my religion to be private and low-key.

    But thank you for your comment by email; I learned something new "LAGNIAPPE". I had to look it up! A lovely new word for me, I shall try and slip it into a conversation some time and confess myself totally surprised that nobody else knows it!

  7. Thank you Linda for your sweet comment on my post and for your support. It means a lot to me.