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.