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Sasha readjusted the multicolored shawl until it was high and tight around her neck. As she secured it in place with her palm, the tip of her long, slim index finger landed on one of the dozens of glass pearlescent beads hand-worked into the elegant crocheted garment, complete with satin trim. She repeatedly tapped the bead with her fingernail. The sound, very close to her ear, reminded her of the familiar tick of a metronome.
No, it sounds more like the ticking of clock, counting down to death by regret.
She shook her head to dismiss the dark thought and stared at the snowglobe on her side table, on which she set her ever-present cup of hot tea. It didn’t matter if the outdoor temperature was twenty-five or ninety-five: “Hot tea, please. That will do.” On this midsummer Saturday in Wanonishaw, Minnesota, even though it was a humid eighty-seven degrees outdoors, Sasha did not turn on the air conditioning, and still she felt a slight chill.
Pinning her eyes on the ballerina in the snowglobe, she slowly rolled the bead between her thumb and index finger, as if fine-tuning a memory on a radio dial. She rocked back and forth in the rocking chair, the only chair in the house that, for the most part, didn’t hurt her back. She nearly lived in it since she’d moved back in. It had been her mom’s favorite chair, the one she used to rock in while nursing Sasha.
Her mom loved to tell the story about how Sasha often fell asleep while she fed her, how she had to tap the arch of her tiny bare foot to wake her. Sasha could hear her mother’s gravelly voice, see the spark in her Paul Newman–blue eyes. “You were such a tiny little bird, yet from the get-go, you were so uncommonly strong.”
On the rare occasions Sasha visited home, her mother always proudly showed her the most recent clippings and photos she’d added to the latest scrapbook. She had started the scrapbooks when Sasha was a child, the program from her first dance recital leading the way. Across the top of one of the pages of that first scrapbook, in her loopy handwriting, her mother had written, “‘I could twirl forever!’ The first words out of Sasha’s mouth this morning.”
Quickly the scrapbooks began to document the life of an emerging professional ballerina. “Seems impossible,” Sasha’s mother would say, “that such a tiny little bird could grow into such a majestic swan.” She’d point to the recent pictures and the lean muscles in Sasha’s calves, marvel at her balance, revel in her glorious costumes and topflight billing.
As the sound of her mother’s voice faded away, the rhythm of Sasha’s rocking and the roll of the bead between her fingers began to fuse with the arpeggio of orchestra music rising within her. She closed her eyes, rested the back of her head against the support pillow, and envisioned the ballerina in the snowglobe—elegant neck extended, feet in perfect fifth position—suddenly lengthen her ankles and elevate to pointe. The dancer, a perpetual and wonderful smile on her face, floated her arms to shoulder height. She tilted her delicate head and demure eyes toward the floor, slightly stage left. At the swell of the vibrating string section, in one velvet-smooth motion, the dancer lifted her chin, elongated her neck, raised her chest upward, and leaned toward the audience as she extended her right leg high up behind her and reached her left arm forward. Only her agility, strength, and the tip of her pointe shoe on her arched left foot anchored her to the floor as she performed a stunning penché arabesque.
The dancer was acutely aware that the stage lights brought to life the sparkles sewn into her pink, three-quarter-length tutu, flared like an elegant fan between her legs. She rejoiced in knowing she looked as stunning as Maria Tallchief, the prima ballerina in the picture she had, as a child, tacked to her bedroom wall, right above the ballerina snowglobe she kept on her bookcase headboard.
With perfect timing, Sasha’s partner’s large, warm hands surrounded her waist as he lifted her like a plume readied to fill the air with poetic movement and words. Her spirit and body sailed with the rising crescendos and quieting lulls of the melody as together she and Donald soared across the stage, his strength repeatedly lifting and lowering her, the box of her pink satin pointe shoe barely tapping the floor, her tutu flaring during each quick descent of their grand pas de deux, and…
With a lightning fast series of tumultuous thuds, Sasha and her partner fell to the floor. Disoriented, Sasha darted her eyes from here to there to lock in her bearings. Excruciating pain riveted her tailbone, hip, and leg. Please, God, don’t let either of us be injured! We have three more stops this tour!
It wasn’t until her vision focused on a pair of young hands picking up china shards and the dish towel soaking up a spreading circle of tea that reality sank in, yet again. She was no longer Sasha Davis, glitterati, principal dancer at Mid-Central Festival Ballet in Boston, one of the largest and most prestigious ballet companies in the United States. She was no longer traveling the world, performing to standing ovations. She was simply Sasha Davis. A near invalid living in her deceased mother’s home, the home she grew up in, with shelves full of scrapbooks in an upstairs bedroom she could neither get to nor stand to look at.
She was back in Wanonishaw, Minnesota, a town—a life—she’d left when, at age seventeen, she’d been accepted into Juilliard.
She put her hands on the arms of the rocker and leaned forward. The shawl slid down behind her back. “I’m sorry,” she said to the top of Evelyn’s head. Evelyn, nineteen, was on her knees, cleaning up the mess. “I can’t believe I spilled again. How many teacups have I gone through in the two months since you’ve been with me?”
Evelyn looked up and chuckled. Beads of perspiration dotted her forehead, dripped off her nose. “Your share of them,” she said. She carefully set pieces of china in the metal garbage can she’d brought from the kitchen. “But no worries, Ms. Davis. Your mom had so many teacups and saucers in this house, you could break one a day, live to be a hundred and fifty, and still not run out! I haven’t seen so many cups and saucers since the last time I went to the cities and dreamed about setting up my bridal registry at Macy’s. I bet there isn’t a china department in any store in the whole world that has as many unique teacups as your mom!” Evelyn swiped at the remaining puddle of tea with the towel, which she wrung out in the garbage can. She dabbed at a few drops splattered on the fringe of the nearby area rug.
Sasha noticed the way Evelyn managed, at regular intervals throughout the day, to maneuver her hand in order to catch another glimpse of her own engagement ring. At least that’s what Evelyn had called it when she jutted her finger in front of Sasha’s face during her interview for this dreadful job. “My engagement ring from my fiancé,” she said dreamily, as if the diamond could rival one of Elizabeth Taylor’s. If there was even a chip of genuine diamond in the middle of that thin band, Sasha would be surprised.
“I’ll bring you another cup of tea,” Evelyn said, startling Sasha as she sprang to her feet and headed toward the kitchen. “The water’s still hot in the kettle,” she said over her shoulder. “Sit tight for a minute.”
Sit tight? After exhausting herself simply pulling the shawl from behind her, wrestling it over her shoulders, and tucking it up under her neck, Sasha slumped back in the chair. Who would have imagined that at only age thirty-seven, that’s nearly all I’d be able to do? I might as well be ninety.
Through the window, a large bird caught Sasha’s eye as he floated onto the porch rail. His blue iridescent head and bright eyes glistened in the sun. The colors, including his jet-black body, reminded her of one of the dramatic costumes she’d worn during a solo performance in Venice. Organza, chiffon, tulle, beads, the music… She fingered a bit of the satin that trimmed her shawl, recalled the exact tiara she wore for the sequence.
The bird took a few hops, then began to bathe in the warped aluminum frying pan she’d instructed Evelyn to get rid of after the dramatic incident just days after Evelyn moved in. The next morning, when Evelyn drew the drapes, Sasha saw the old pan, its handle half-melted, on the porch railing. It was filled with water and a handful of glass marbles. She opened her mouth to chastise Evelyn for once again not following her instructions, but before she could emit a sound, a bright small bird, its head the color of coral, landed on the handle, hopped to the rim of the pan, and took several delicate drinks of water. As soon as he was gone, a small, brilliant, gold, black, and white bird took his place and broke out in song. Such beauty. So many colors.
Such tiny little birds.
When she looked up, Evelyn was smiling, nodding her head in that annoyingly knowing way of hers.
Ever since the pan first appeared on the rail, a constant parade of birds drank and bathed, splashed and vied for space. The expensive birdbath Sasha sent her mother one Mother’s Day—a departure from the usual teacup and saucer—sat empty in the middle of the yard. Utterly entertaining, these tiny dancing birds. And now, a large yellow-eyed one, swooping in like the handsome Prince Siegfried in Swan Lake. A few bars of Tchaikovsky’s glorious score played in Sasha’s head, then quickly faded. By the time the grackle, which Evelyn had identified for her, was done with its raucous bath, the pan was nearly splashed empty.
Just like my life.
“Time to refill the pan again,” Evelyn said, as she settled a new teacup and saucer into their usual spot. “Funny how much the birds love that old thing. Wonder why? Maybe the sun warms the metal, which warms the water.”
“Maybe,” Sasha said, careful to sound like she didn’t care, which she didn’t.
“Or maybe it’s the marbles. I read birds are attracted to shiny glass, which is why I put the marbles in there.”
“Maybe.” Sasha frowned, shook her head, pursed her lips. “Perhaps I should have someone create a cement birdbath decorated with all the shards of glass I’ve produced lately.”
“Just to remind you, Ms. Davis,” Evelyn said, positioning herself right in front of Sasha, encroaching on her personal space by nearly standing on her toes, “you won’t be in that rocking chair forever, you know. Allowing yourself to get all pity-partied up just saps the energy your body needs to mend itself.”
Sasha studied the large, big-boned young woman standing before her, who, hands on her hips, boldly studied her right back.
Sasha’s chin jutted slightly upward as she felt her anger rise. “Who do you think you are?”
Evelyn backed up a step.
“Not only my aide, but a mind reader too? My cheerleading squad? My shrink? May I remind you that I pay you to assist me. To do what I instruct,” Sasha said, her eyes momentarily diverting to the frying pan she’d instructed Evelyn to get rid of. “I do not pay you— and I pay you well—to lecture me or to override my decisions.”
Evelyn straightened, letting her hands fall to her sides. “Yes, Ms. Davis, you do pay me well, and I thank you. I’m sorry if I overstepped my boundaries. I’ll try to do better next time. It’s just that I hate to see you get so down on yourself.” She bit her lip. “If there’s nothing else you need”—Evelyn paused, waited until Sasha shook her head—“I have some errands to run. Maybe you can enjoy a nap while I’m gone.”
This wasn’t the first time Evelyn had reminded Sasha that she was cranky when she was tired. At least this time she was more subtle about it.
“I’ll be back around four-thirty to prepare dinner. And again, I’m sorry. My mom’s often told me I have a short circuit when it comes to boundaries.” Evelyn reached back, grabbed her long blond ponytail, and twirled it around her index finger. “But my fiancé says he adores my spunky attitude. I guess I have to figure out a happy medium, or where to be what or who or how. Or something like that.” She shrugged and grinned. “Sure you don’t need anything before I go?”
Sasha shook her head and flicked her fingers in dismissal. Shortly after she heard the back door close, she saw Evelyn whizzing down the street on her bicycle. Her pink Life is good–brand backpack clung tightly to her body. Her ponytail sailed behind her like a kite tail. Isn’t everyone supposed to wear a helmet?
But what was the point of playing safe in life? Look where it had gotten Sasha. All those years. All that practice. All that pain.
As much as that girl annoys me, why is it she’s right about nearly everything? Pity party, indeed. Knock it off !
Sasha sucked in her stomach and tried to flatten her back to the chair. Although the action caused her to grimace, she straightened her right leg and lifted it parallel to the floor. She pointed her toe, rotated her foot to the left, then to the right. She pointed her toe again, studied the line of her slim leg beneath her long rayon skirt, thought about all the times she’d stood at the barre while studying the stretch of her legs in the mirror, the angle of her arms, the tilt of her head and carriage. She shook her head, closed her eyes, and repeated the exercise with her left leg. She sucked in her breath and tried to will herself to lift both legs at once, an action that hurt so badly it made her whimper.
After five months, her body still wasn’t ready for that much rigor. The doctor told her to let the pain be her guide, not to rush the process lest she risk setting back her healing. Absolutely no pushing herself until physical therapy began. But how could she sit there and do nothing? The life of a dancer was fraught with aches and pains, twitches and bruises. One learned to bandage up, ice down, and gut it out. Doing nothing wasn’t acceptable!
Then a sickening thought struck her. Pain wasn’t a guide. Pain had become her best friend. At this point in her messed-up life, without the pain, she would have nothing. Nothing at all.
She squeezed the chair arms, pushed her spine into the back cushion, and tried to lift both legs. Again and again and again she tried, until at last she broke into sobs, not an ounce of strength left in her body.
Posted August 2, 2012
Even in times when we think we can't, such as career ending injuries, faith is a must. And that is what Sasha must have as she moves home after an injury ends her career as a ballerina.
It's not just her injuries that limit her though, the death of her mother haunts her.
When Sasha realizes that she needs help, she hires a 19 year old named Evelyn, as opposite from her as one could get. Evelyn sees life as a great opportunity, while Sasha continues to dwell on the could have beens.
In order for Sasha to heal, the two form an unlikely bond that is sweet and really made me think of some of my own friendships and why and how they have formed.
This is a great book and one I would recommend to anyone who was at a loss for faith, at a crossroads in life and needed that little extra pick me up to help them get through the situation.
I will definitely be looking for more of this authors work.
I received this book for free in exchange for a fair and honest review. This review is my own opinion and was not biased in any way..
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Posted August 1, 2012
After my life settled down a tad, I decided to give it a go and read this lovely book. The story starts off with Sasha, the once famous prima ballerina… Sitting in an old rocking chair, remembering the years past. After suffering a horrific fall, Sasha moves home. Eager to separate herself from the ballet world. Due to her injury however she requires a home health aid, Evelyn Burt. Miss Burt is completely opposite of Sasha. Big boned, bossy, sharp tongued.. But she grows on you! Evelyn not only helps Sasha heal physically but mentally as well.
When I first started reading this book, I couldn’t figure out if I liked the book or not. I just couldn’t put my finger on what was with this book. Was it the characters? Was it how the story was portrayed? Nope.. None of that.. Then I realized this was a Snow Globe Novel. The author Charlene Ann Baumbich is famous for writing these books about snow globes and how they are a metaphor for the lead character’s life and blah blah blah! Honestly, I wanted to like this book until I realized it was a snow globe novel. I think this book would have done just fine if the snow globe storyline had just been left out!
I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review. I was not require to post a positive review. These opinions are mine and mine alone.
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Posted June 30, 2013
The concept of having to find your way home as an adult has many layers. Sasha Davis' life is centered around being and breathing ballet in Boston. Due to a major injury she must end her career and return to her childhood home where her mother has recently died. Where and what is home?? She has left her husband and life that she loved to return to what she had left behind long ago. Only now she is incapable of independence. In order to recuperate she must hire help which comes in the form of her opposite: Evelyn Burr. The two start off as polar opposites. Sasha fine and delicate, reserved and polished, and alone. While Evelyn is large boned, very outgoing and newly engaged. This warm and thoroughly grasps you by your heartstrings novel takes you on the journey of Sasha truly coming home and learning what home can be and is. And what a true friend can be in spite of first impressions. This novel is a must read You will find it one you will want to share with those kindred spirits in your life.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted April 17, 2013
When principal ballerina Sasha Davis suffers a career-ending injury at age thirty-eight, she leaves her Boston-based dance company and retreats to the home of her youth in Minnesota. But Sasha’s injuries limit her as much as her mother’s recent death haunts her. Concluding she can’t recover alone, Sasha reluctantly hires a temporary live-in aide. Enter the übercapable Evelyn Burt. As large-boned as Sasha is delicate, Evelyn is her employer’s opposite in every way. Small town to Sasha’s urban chic, outgoing to Sasha’s iciness, and undaunted where Sasha is hopeless, nineteen-year-old Evelyn is newly engaged and sees the world as one big, shiny opportunity. Evelyn soon discovers Sasha needs to heal more than bones. Slowly, as the wounds begin to mend and the tables tilt, the two women form an unlikely alliance and discover the astounding power of even the smallest act done in the name of love.
Charlene Ann Baumbich delivers a heart warming, charming story about a unique bond that develops over pain, tears, laughter, encouraging and helping others. A good example and reminder of how true friendships can be formed and stand the stormy trials of life. Also how the young can learn from those older than them, and how the "old" can learn from years younger.
A light read that makes one feel good when the last page is turned and completed.
WaterBrook Multnomah sent me this complimentary copy to review for them. All opinions expressed are my own.
Posted July 14, 2012
Finding Our Way Home is a winsome story that stirs the heart and breaks the cobwebs of complacency. You’re left in the end with hope. Evelyn’s voice crackles with youth and optimism. Her stubbornness gets her in trouble, but in the end it is the blessing of Evelyn’s outspokenness and hope which turns Sasha’s life around.
Sasha begins as an angry, self-absorbed woman who can’t stop feeling sorry for herself. It wasn’t just the fall that took away her ability to dance, but the secrets she feels would have made her estranged husband unforgiving. Instead of allowing Donald Major to be the helpmate she needed during her time of therapy and in learning to walk again, Sasha hides in her mother’s old house
Who was Jordan? Why did he seem so cavalier and shallow when Evelyn needed direction? The strained relationship with Evelyn and her dad over Jordan is a familiar story. I’m sure every woman and teen could resonate with it, but you’re never sure if Jordan is a bad fiancé. He’s not obviously bad. At times, he is likable and responsible. His home life is a mystery to Evelyn.
As you get deeper into the novel, it is Sasha and Evelyn who become fast friends, helping each other through the difficulties to come.
Disclaimer- I was provided an advanced copy of Finding Our Way Home from WaterBrook Multnomah via their Blogging for Books program in return for my review. All thoughts stated here are 100% my own.
Posted June 27, 2012
Sasha Davis is a former principal ballerina in a major dance company recovering from a devastating injury that has ended her career and upended her life. As she struggles to heal, both physically and emotionally, she hires gregarious, optimistic, 19-year-old Evelyn as a live-in caretaker. The two clash initially, but they soon discover they have much to learn from each other.
Overall, this was a feel-good novel about overcoming high obstacles and learning to trust the people God has placed in your path. Although each turn of the plot was not terribly surprising, I found the book to be an overall fun, somewhat touching, happy-go-lucky summer read.
Note: I received this book free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishers, but all opinions are honest and my own.
Posted June 24, 2012
Finding our way home is a book about 2 women in very different places in their lives that come together in the town they both grew up in and both learn to trust and grow as they work towards a healthier relationship with their loved ones.
This book is about Grace. Looking for grace in everyday things, asking for grace when there is nothing else to do, searching for grace when it seems there is none to be found, and hoping for grace when life seems a mess.
The main characters are Sasha, a principal ballerina who finds herself suddenly at the end of a lifelong dream after an injury. Evelyn who is just starting out on her life's journey and doesn't yet know where it will lead. And Sasha's husband Donald who suffers his wife's injury almost more than she does, but through grace finds his way home as well. The two women, Evelyn and Sasha couldn't be more different and their differences are what makes them work so well together.
This story is well written, the characters are well-rounded and seem real. The book gives just enough background into the world of dance to give a reader a good grasp on everything Sasha loses with her injury, and how far she has to come through grace to emerge at the end of the book as she does. It touches on small town life and looks at the first flight of a little bird just leaving the nest in Evelyn. It shows her desire to be free of the home nest, but also that its ok to come home if you need to. After a rather bad day Evelyn goes to her parents home and with her tear-stained face tells her parents that she can't even talk about what happened, the next line in the book really stood out for me...
" They (her parents and Evelyn) stood in a circle until her parents' love soaked thoroughly enough into Evelyn that she could finally dare to look at them" I love the imagery of that sentence!
I enjoyed this book, again something a little different from my usual choices, but a good summer read that I would recommend to anyone.
“I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review”.
Posted June 10, 2012
Charlene Ann Baumbich is an inspirational author with over 20 years’ experience in writing and speaking. She uses humor to make points and inspiration to touch her reader. Here is my view of her Finding Our Way Home novel.
The first couple of pages grabbed my attention and empathy for this woman who was obviously injured. The injuries were not only physical, but spiritual. Sasha Davis was a premier ballerina who had been injured while she was dancing. The injury was permanent to her career. Moving back to her childhood home, she realizes she must have help, live-in help. She hires Evelyn Burt, her polar opposite.
Evelyn Burt is large, where Sasha is small. She is capable of, it seems, anything and everything, unlike Sasha. Evelyn enjoys life, even when facing her own personal problems. She happily moves in with Sasha when her parents are opposed to her fiancé, giving them all space to breathe. She takes something broken, such as the fry pan, and turns it into a thing of beauty and life.
The relationship between these two women, and the path to their own individual needs and happiness, is ridden with sadness, discovery, happiness, enlightenment, and a spiritual healing that gave this reader a sense of well-being. These two unlikely companions find a place where they can find the grace they’re seeking. That path, however, is not always an easy path.
I give this a 5 of 5 stars, and look forward to the next book by Charlene Ann Baumbich.
DISCLAIMER: I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for an honest review.
Posted May 27, 2012
Home is not a place, memory or gift in this sweet tale
Sasha sits wrapped in her shawl like an old woman, but injury and depression have led her here, not age, and the outspoken young housekeeper Evelyn might be just who she needs to bring her home. Author Charlene Anne Baumbich explores the sudden end of a brilliant ballerina’s career with a sensitive ear for the deadening silence of depression, lightening the tale with Evelyn’s eager hopes for a home of her own. Soon both characters will learn that “home” isn’t a house or memory or gift, but a state of being, chosen and maintained with care and love. It’s a wise lesson well taught in this gentle tale.
There are some lightly mystical elements in this novel, a snowglobe ballerina whose stance hides precious advice, the sweet blessing of “Grace, Amen,” before meals, and the gentle reminders to lift our problems to God. But church and serious prayer stay far away on the wings—not a “let-me-convert-you” story, or even a “let-me-make-you-want-to-be-converted,” this is more of a tale that acknowledges there’s more to life than eyes can see and lets the reader decide what to believe.
Sasha and Evelyn are very different characters, petite and large, boss and servant, silent and outspoken. The author renders their points of view very convincingly and gradually reveals the secret hurts both hide. Both awkward in their movements now, both unsure in their loves, they stumble towards friendship and healing and find their way in a world that’s not filled with easy answers but is filled with hope.
A satisfying tale, I enjoyed reading this and would be happy to read other snowglobe tales by this author.
Disclosure: I received a free copy from Waterbrook Multnomah in exchange for my honest review.
Posted May 23, 2012
I kept hoping that the story will go somewhere, and it will get better, but it didn't. The book cover was inviting, but the story was not. I struggled to finish this book.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted May 6, 2012
Finding Our Way Home by Charlene Baumbich was a different kind of story of love, perseverance, friendship, and overcoming the obstacles that the Lord places in our lives.
Sasha Davis was a dancer, but not just any dancer, she was a ballet dancer, a principle dancer in one of the most prestigious academy’s in Boston. She is living in Wanoninshaw, WI now, using a wheel chair, and cooped up in a house full of sorrows. For you see, Sasha Davis took a fall at one of her performances and injured herself to the point where she is unable to dance. Therefore, because it was all she knew and because she still had many years of dance before she had to retire she is living in her mother’s old house, feeling sorrowful and alone.
Evelyn Burt, is a 20 year old who has chosen to stick around her hometown with her fiancé and do odd jobs for people as she finds her purpose in life, rather than go to college. Evelyn interviews with Ms. Davis for the job of in-home care worker and is chosen. Evelyn is extremely head strong and usually speaks what is on her mind, until it gets her in a few binds with Sasha Davis.
These two eventually become friends and have a relationship that is different than any other normal friendship or boss-employee relationship. They come to rely on each other in a way that shows God’s hand is behind it all.
I enjoyed reading this story. This was the first I have read by Carlene Baumbich and look forward to reading more as it was written very well, with great descriptions.
I received this book from Waterbrook Multnomah’s Blogging for Books program.
Posted May 3, 2012
Finding Our Way Home was my first book by Charlene Ann Baumbich and I was not disappointed. Her style of writing is easy and flows very nicely. This book was charming and sweet. I could, however, predict the ending just by the title and reading the first bit of the book. It's not a bad thing for me though because I always read the last chapter of a book before I read the rest. I know, a silly thing to do. But, if the book ends bad then I can prepare myself for the tragedy.
Sasha Davis is a studied ballerina. She loves what she does and thrives as a dancer. After a tragic, career-ending injury and the death of her mother she is left feeling useless. She decides that returning to Minnesota (from Boston where her dance company is located) would help her to heal. Sasha is very limited in what she can and cannot do. She hires a live-in assistant to help her get her mother's affairs in order after her death. Evelyn Burt is the complete opposite of Sasha being "big-boned", from a small town, and very outgoing.
As Evelyn and Sasha get to know each other more and more they become close friends. They lean on each other for support. In this book grace is extended between two people who otherwise have nothing in common. They need each other to get through this time in each of their lives. Evelyn is young and engaged. She sees opportunity in every situation. As you can imagine (spoiler alert) they both find their way home. They find their way to comfort and happiness. This is a feel-good story about friendship and grace.
I really enjoyed this book and hope you get the chance to read it as well. It is very sweet and ends well (another spoiler).
Posted April 15, 2012
Reviewed by Kristie I. for Readers Favorite
“Finding Our Way Home,” written by Charlene Ann Baumbich, is an enjoyable book that will leave the reader feeling hopeful and inspired! Sasha returns to her childhood home to recover from an injury that has ended her career as a principal ballerina. Needing an aide, she hires Evelyn, a recent high school graduate who is the opposite of Sasha. However, as time goes on, Sasha and Evelyn learn that they are alike as they are trying to discover themselves and find where they fit in the world. Evelyn is a sponge for knowledge and is constantly reading and learning, yet she is hesitant to go to college as she is unsure of what she should be doing at this point in her life and she has dreams of life with her fiancee much to her parents’ dismay. Sasha is trying to forget about her former life and heal even if it means cutting her husband of thirteen years out of her life. Both Sasha and Evelyn grow, learn, and discover that life does allow second chances and God’s grace is abundant.
I was immediately drawn into the story! Baumbich writes with such vivid details including visual imagery as well as sounds and smells; the scenes are all painted so clearly that I felt as if I was transported to Wanonishaw. Evelyn and Sasha are such well-developed and realistic characters that it was so easy to empathize with them as they dealt with every day struggles as well as taking big decisions. The dynamics between the characters, for example, Evelyn and her father or Evelyn and Jorden, were very real as well and elements of their relationships can be related to by many if not all readers. This is an uplifting read that is easy to get into and at the end you will be sad to leave the characters’ lives, but you will be left feeling happy as well.
Posted April 11, 2012
The book "Finding Our Way Home" was great! I thought that Ms. Baumbich developed the characters more from the inside than through their actions and I liked that a lot! I thought that there were lots of twists and turns and I really didn't know how it was going to end. It portrayed second chances and new beginnings in a very upbeat way!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted April 2, 2012
Finding Our Way Home is a story of two women and their unlikely friendship. Sasha Davis a 38 year old principal ballerina suffers a career ending injury and returns to her childhood home in Minnesota to heal. Her physical and emotional injuries have taken a huge toll on her and she requires the help of a temporary live in aide. Evelyn Burt is the opposite of her employer. She is outgoing, happy, capable, and determined to conquer whatever life throws at her. Sasha and Evelyn's friendship begins to grow as Evelyn helps Sasha begin to heal. Evelyn soon finds out that she needs a friend in Sasha too.
I liked the story of an unlikely friendship growing between two women with completely different backgrounds and goals in their lives. I thought it was very sweet that they found that they weren't all that different after all and had a lot of common ground. The story as a whole disappointed me. Using the word "grace" a few times throughout a story does not in my eyes make it a "Christian Fiction." In fact there was more superstition and idol (snow globe) worship in this book than there was an out pouring of grace and faith. That was an area that could have and should have been better developed and resolved in a more satisfactory way. Also, Evelyn's whole story was not given enough of a completed ending. Throughout the whole book her story builds to an incident that we never find out the resolution to. The answer of, "some things are just not ours to know," was simply not good enough to me and I thin it really short changes the reader.
I received a complimentary copy of Finding Our Way Home for the purpose of writing a fair and honest review. I received no other compensation.
Posted March 31, 2012
Sasha is at home recovering from a career ending fall. She's never dance again and her life is full of misery and self pity. Evelyn has been hired on as Sasha's personal assistant. Their personalities couldn't be farther apart. Sasha is miserable and depressed. Evelyn is optimistic and full of life.
As time goes by they both realize that they need each other and a beautiful friendship begins.
This story was sweet. It would make a good rainy afternoon book. It has some depth to it, but if you are looking for a quick, feel good book than this is perfect. The author was able to give the characters some depth and while very little surprised me I enjoyed the flow of the story.
The book is a fun fast read that I would recommend if you want to end with a smile on your face.
I received this book free of charge from WaterBrook in exchange for my honest review.
Posted March 29, 2012
Life can be disappointing, but with drive and determination, Sasha and Evelyn, the two main characters in this interesting novel find reasonable resolutions. Sasha a famous ballet dancer suffers a career-ending fall; the story opens with her in a wheelchair. She needs help and hires Evelyn, a large, clumsy nineteen-year-old who is madly in love with Jordan, a player. Evelyn decides to forego college to remain with him.
A snowglobe containing a ballet dancer becomes a tailsman, adding a magical touch.
I recommend this one!
Thank you to Kelly Blewett at KBK Public Relations and Waterbrook Press for my copy.
Posted March 29, 2012
Lives can change in a moment, sometimes for the better and sometimes for the worse. Sasha Davis was a prima ballerina until a tragic fall ended her career. Her depression is deep, causing her to push away from the people she loves. But she needs help, and Evelyn Burt is hired to be her personal assistant. At 19, Evelyn has her whole life ahead of her, but is dealing with the pressures of her parents desire for her to attend college, and her desire to marry Jordyn. As the two women spend time together, they become friends helping each other overcome negative thoughts and feelings. Will Sasha be able to move past the loss of her dream and find something new to fill up her time? Will her marriage weather the storms? Will Evelyn listen to her parents or to her heart? Can life ever be wonderful again after severe change?
This is a wonderful story of change, hope, friendship, and love. The characters pull you into their stories and make you feel their sorrows and joys. The story moves along at a good pace and will hold your attention. It will make a wonderful gift for readers of all types, and book discussion groups will enjoy discussing the many topics held in the pages.
Posted March 26, 2012
Finding Our Way Home is heartfelt book about a ballet dancer,(Sasha) who suffers a injury that jeopardizes her career in Ballet. Initially, I was skeptical about this book, but after reading it, it is a nice novel for a car trip or a vacation. If you are looking for a book with a great story, this is the one.
Sasha has to leave her Ballet company in Boston to return home to Minnesota. While in Minnesota, Sasha hires a woman named Evelyn who is recently engaged to a man name Jordyn. The two woman could be nothing but opposite of one another. As the two woman go through different ups and downs, they realize they aren't so different after all. Grace plays a huge role in both Sasha and Evelyns life.
Sasha hasn't seen her husband and Evelyn wants to be married before going to college. This book has lots of ups and downs, but through it all, Evelyn and Sasha find great friendship, grace and healing in unexpected places.
Thank you Waterbrook for allowing me to review this book. The opinions expressed are my own. This is a cute little book!
Posted March 21, 2012
This book is about an injured ballet dancer, who is facing the fact that she will never dance professionally again, and a young, extremely optimistic woman with a fiancé and a world of possibilities before her. They begin as employee and employer, one of them caring for the other, but eventually, they begin to understand and care for each other as people, with life-changing results.
I was drawn to this book initially because I am also a former ballet dancer who left ballet because my body asked me nicely. I still miss many things about dancing in that way: the way my feet responded to the music, the costumes, the euphoria after a successful audition, the look of pride in the eyes of one of my teachers. Like many young girls, I also dreamed about being a prima ballerina and getting paid to do what I loved. All this made Sasha (the dancer) a relatable character. I enjoyed a foray into the world of dance again, thinking about ballets I’ve seen and solos I’ve learned and danced, that was a lovely part of this book.
I found myself a bit frustrated with the character of the younger woman, however. She is stubborn (a trait I certainly relate to) and has spunk, but I also found her to be completely lacking in street-sense. She seemed to put herself into positions which showed her to be a little too trusting for my tastes. She does do some growing (both characters are dynamic) and that helped with my feeling toward her.
This book reminded me of something I think we could all stand to remember: there is nothing too big or too insurmountable for God, His grace covers all. For that, I am thankful for this book, it provided a lovely, light and sunny diversion for an afternoon.
I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review.