A Season to Dance by Patricia Beal
The day has finally arrived, the day I can share with you about Patricia Beal’s debut novel, A Season to Dance.
Ana dreams of dancing on stage at the Met in New York, and with plans to marry Peter and join the Atlanta Ballet Company firmly in place, she is well on her way.
Then the kiss happened.
Not with Peter, but with Claus, her first love and a premier ballet dancer who left her heartbroken. The story follows the aftermath of that single incident that changed all three of their lives forever.
This heart-wrenching story will have you reaching for tissues and remembering the dizzying and often sickening dance of emotions and poor choices that lead to more heartache than one can bear. Or maybe you are one of the lucky ones and have a perfect life. If you are, then you are probably in denial or haven’t reached middle school yet.
None of Ana’s dreams go as planned, yet God touches her life in a very real-life way. There are no great miracles or sudden turnaround and see God moments.
Instead, God is Ana’s spotter.
While she is spinning out of control, God is slowly tugging at her, pursuing her, and guiding her. Spiritual truth falls on Ana like a gentle spring rain, refreshing, soul soaking, and easy to deflect until she is ready to accept it.
This is a wonderful story that is unlike any Christian romance out there, and I would venture to even categorize it differently – women’s fiction with a touch of romance. The story is really about one woman’s harsh struggle to know true love and to chase her dreams in our contemporary culture. There are no clean easy answers, and happily ever after comes in fits and spurts, showing that love endures even when there are difficulties and grief.
However, I wish to forewarn Christian readers, that Ana is not the sweet, innocent heroine usually found in Christian romance. Ana is real, with real flaws. While there is no graphic material, there is sex before marriage and drinking. Ana’s relationship with Christ does not form until the end of the story and as Paul says, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!” (2 Corinthians 5:17). Most of the story takes place in Ana’s old life, but every instance of sex ends with the closing of the bedroom door. It is not something that should keep you from reading the book, but I felt it was fair to warn readers who may not be accustomed to less than perfect heroines.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book and recommend it to readers who love real characters and true to life complications and responses. And if you love ballet, it is chalk full of beautiful dancers and scenes to thrill your imagination.
*I was given an advanced reader’s copy in hopes of an honest review, which you have read above.*
Check out the blurb and links for purchase below.
Ana Brassfield has her path to the stage of the Metropolitan Opera House all figured out until her first love, renowned German dancer Claus Gert, returns to Georgia to win her back. Despite a promising start towards her ballet career and pending marriage to landscape architect, Peter Engberg, Ana wonders if her dreams of dancing at the Met are as impossible as her previous romantic relationship with Claus.
Then, an on-stage kiss between Ana and Claus changes everything.
Convinced the kiss is more than a one-time mistake, Peter breaks off their engagement. With an old dog crippled by arthritis and dreams deferred but not left behind, Ana moves to Germany to be with Claus. But the ghost of his late wife, Ana’s own feelings for Peter, and the pressure of earning a spot in a large ballet company are a high price for a shot at success. Ana seems on the verge of having everything she ever dreamed of, but will it be enough?