In Tour De Force, Gilly has grown up to become a rising star in one of the premier NYC ballet companies. However, when she comes back to Alabama to dance the role of the Sugar Plum Fairy in The Nutcracker, she finds herself intrigued by the Birmingham company's handsome young director, Jacob Ferrar. Gilly and Jacob have to wrestle with ordering priorities in the Christian life: where do building a relationship, pursuing artistic dreams, and serving God fit into the mix?
First of all, let me say that I adore all things ballet. (You will soon find that out in the "not just with words" post, anyway.) That's why I picked up this book, which combines ballet and God. However, that proved to be the least of the reasons why I loved this book eventually.
I am generally skeptic when it comes to Christians in occupations such as acting, dancing, etc. because I firmly believe that such a work environment is not becoming or convenient for a person who aspires to live in God's way. Also the moral standard in such jobs are generally quite low, so it is not realistic that a Christian should be able to climb the ladder. The heroine of this novel is a prima ballerina, which gave rise to these questions in me, but however I decided to put these thoughts aside and enjoy the story, which I did. I would be very interested to hear your views on the matter, if you have read the book.
Of course the heroine and the hero of this book, in spite of being both ballet dancers and working in an industry which is based in intrigues and competition, manage to be exemplary clean and deeply devoted to God, even in their work, throughout the trials that find them as the story unfolds. This is one of the greatest charms of this book. All the descriptions of famous ballets and of the numerous rehearsals is the other.
Although this book contains a lot of ballet descriptions which transfer the reader alternatively in the wings, in the ballerinas' private lives and on the luminous stage; although it tells the most romantic and tender love story; and although it provides with a beautiful example of how anyone can turn their workplace into a place of worship to God, it was something else that made this book memorable and incredibly precious to me.
This book, to me at least, is a book about prayer. About anxious, urgent, desperate prayer. About answers that do not seem to come when you most need them. About trusting God even when He is silent. About waiting on Him and knowing that He still loves us even when our whole lives seem to be about to crumble. About realizing that God is the One who makes our greatest dreams come true and yet He is also the One on whom we must depend completely, for with or without our dreams, He is our whole life.
When I read this book I was seriously and chronically sick, and God knew that I needed to be reminded of these things. I read it and realized that God's love and power are not measured by the times that He will perform miracles in our lives, but by the fact that He lives in our heart. And the miracles will come, too, only in His time.
I think that no matter where you may be in your life right now, it will bless you.
And of course, all the ballet descriptions don't hurt either. At all. :)