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.