Title: A Season to Dance
Author: Patricia Beal
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Publishing Date: May 9, 2017
About the Book:
Ballerina Ana Brassfield has her path to the stage of the Met in New York and her future with fiancé Peter Engberg all figured out—until her first love, renowned German dancer Claus Gert, shows up in Georgia to dance with her and win her back. Claus kisses her after a rehearsal, a kiss Peter witnesses from the darkened audience. Convinced a kiss between Claus and Ana is more than a one-time mistake, Peter breaks off his engagement with Ana. Rejected by Peter, and knowing Claus is dancing at the Met soon, Ana decides to repave her path to her dream. With her 2002 Thunderbird and Baryshnikov, an old dog crippled by arthritis, she moves to Germany to be with Claus. But the ghost of his late wife, Ana’s own memories of Peter, and the pressure of earning a spot in a large ballet company prove to be a high price for a shot at success.
A season to Dance is one woman’s journey through this messy world towards a redeeming relationship with her Heavenly Father. Ana has spent her life looking for fulfillment through men and dance, but neither is able to fill the God-shaped hole in her heart. Deeply emotional, often frustrating, and occasionally heartbreaking, this is a story you won’t soon forget.
I would consider this a story to share with unsaved friends because through most of the story the characters aren’t Christian, but slowly find their ways to Christ. The author manages to magnificently weave in this transformation without coming off as cheesy or superficial. If you’re looking for a super-clean read this isn’t one I’d recommend, as there is plenty of content of sinful behavior, especially in terms of sex. The characters are openly in sexual relationships prior to marriage technically including promiscuity. This can be guessed simply by reading the back cover of the book, so it doesn’t come as too much as a surprise. A big point in the book is that God meets us where we are, even (especially) when life is messy.
While you don’t have to be an expert in dance to read this story, it would help to at least have some level of interest due to the page space devoted to dance in this story. Ana is a professional dancer and it’s a major part of her life. It’s also what sparks her conflict between Claus and Peter. Patricia Beal herself is a dancer, and her expertise and passion for dance is clearly seen through her words on the page.
There is so much that I could say about this story, but I feel like anything I say would be a spoiler in one way or another. There were plenty of twists and turns and emotional situations that will keep the book firmly placed in your hands instead of waiting on the table. This is definitely a book that’s worth the read!
*I received a free copy of this from a giveaway. I was not required to share a positive review. Thoughts and opinions expressed are mine alone.
Age Appropriateness/Content Warnings:
*PLEASE NOTE: This section may contain mild spoilers but I do my best to reveal the difficult and/or triggering content without giving away the story
As mentioned above, the characters were not Christian for the majority of the book and the content reflects that. There is premarital sex with more than one partner and plenty of the drama that goes along with that territory. Abortion is debated at one point in the story. The characters drink alcohol on several occasions as well, though mostly casually and not for drunkenness. There are a lot of adult situations throughout the book so this isn’t one that I would personally recommend to younger readers.