Thursday, July 26, 2012

Finding Our Way Home by Charlene Baumbich

This was the first book I've read by Charlene Baumbich and I think it's the third in her Snowglobe Connections series, though it wasn't hard to follow at all without having read the first two.  The story is about two very different women, Sasha and Evelyn. Sasha is a 37-year-old  injured ballet dancer who moves back to her childhood home in a small town in Minnesota to recuperate and Evelyn is the 19-year-old she hires to cook, drive her to appointments, etc.  Sasha was injured during a performance and doesn't know if she'll recuperate enough to get around easily, much less dance again.  She leaves her family and friends abruptly in Boston and cuts herself off from all who care about her. A lot of her story focuses on her memories of dancing, her joy at watching birds play outside her window in a half-melted frying pan and her depression over the change in her life, though the story isn't depressing.

By contrast, Evelyn is an optimistic, newly-engaged girl who tells it like it is.  She's a tomboy to Sasha's femininity, loud to her quiet, large to her small frame. She works at bringing Sasha out of herself to engage with the world again. She loves to read nonfiction about anything, so it was interesting to see what she'd be reading about next, from chicken coops to Einstein. She doesn't want to go to college in the fall because of wanting to be near her fiance Jorden, whom her parents don't approve of. The story took turns letting us see how each woman viewed the world.

I found myself slightly bored with this story. I'm not interested in ballet or bird-watching and there were quite a few parts describing both. I really liked Evelyn and her take on the world.  She's very wise and I think a lot of people could learn a lot from her.  I liked Sasha too, and I thought her attitude was understandable considering what she had to deal with, but it just wasn't as much fun to be in her head. The book was well-written, but tended to ramble a bit about the birds and one other passage where a character was evaluating possible scenarios went on for quite a while. The parts about the snowglobe were pretty strange and seemed to border on it being used as a charm, which seemed unnecessary. However, I really liked the theme of "grace to cover everything" that ran through the book.  It ended up being an encouraging book.  I'd be interested in checking out the other two books since I assume they would be about different topics.  I was given a free copy of this book by Waterbrook Multnomah in exchange for an honest review.

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