Dancing with disaster
Dreams don't always work out in real life. When your chosen path seems at odds with your physical limitations and your ability to earn a good living, a change of direction can be a blessing in disguise. So it is with aspiring ballerina Flora Gatehouse, whose congenital spine condition curtails her dance career. After the death of her father, an inherited property in Portugal demands her attention, providing Flora not only a change of scenery but a surprising chance to change her life.
The author's knowledge of dance, classical music scores, and the ability to transport us to a lush location are the best parts of this story! Smelling the aromas of forest and food, as well as hearing birdsong and strains of such epic works as Carmina Burana and Nimrod inside your mind is one of reading's great joys. It's like taking a holiday trip without leaving your chair. However, there are many out-of-place sentences, extraneous detail, and some odd word choices that take away a bit of the magic of this story. The colorful characters, (and I do mean colorful, to coin a phrase from one of them) and the sweet, often hilarious interaction between them is delightfully entertaining.
If you're a traveler, this story might be a bit weighty for the backpack-inclined, but if you're the type who packs lightly and doesn't mind 'getting lost' on your travels, Forest Dancer is a heartwarming and whimsical journey.
All that career fisherman Leo Shine wants is to be out on the Alaskan waters with his brother and
father at the helm of their own spanking new fishing boat, the Goblin. While working with another crew, Leo learns that the Goblin has been lost, along with his only kin. Clues found in the wreckage speak of contraband and illegal trafficking, something Leo cannot allow himself to believe, setting him off on a journey to find answers and family he never knew, oceans away in Portugal. Piper Pines is fed up with the nomadic, uncertain lifestyle she's led with her fisherman father on England's blustery north coast,
and decides to strike out on her own journey of family discovery.
It's rare when a book makes you really feel like you're there, in the setting of the story. Author Sue Roebuck does this handily.You can virtually feel the waves and water sloshing around your ankles and the sun and wind beating down on your back. I wouldn't categorize this story as a romance, although it's easy
to see that the main characters are destined for one another quite early on. Like the ocean, the currents and swells of the story draw our characters inexorably to the same place and time. It was a treat to be "immersed" in an such an intricate plot, with a bit of mystery to solve along the way. The length of this book allowed for some great character development and a cast of numerous performers that are memorable enough to not get lost in the readers' mind. I could actually visualize Lili screaming epithets in Portuguese and Etta's outfits that were as colorful as her vocabulary! However, the major player here is the breathtaking, timeless, unforgiving sea. The author's knowledge of the sea, of the locale, its language and industry really comes through in this work and keeps you riveted until the end. That's when you know you have a good book in your hands.
Rising Tides is a great vacation read. Be sure to take it with you on the next boat you catch!
Ms. Roebuck is giving away an Ecopy of her book. The TBR Pile is giving away a book from our prize list. TO ENTER: Comment below on why you love seafaring books?