A woman struggling to find her way forward discovers hope in her bond with a troubled young girl in this heartfelt novel in the Tending Roses series from the #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Book of Lost Friends and Before We Were Yours.
Once a gifted ballet dancer, Julia Costell understands the joy of body and soul lost in a perfect moment. But after buckling under the demands of a professional dance career, she’s landed with a thud in an unglamorous job as a guidance counselor at a performing arts school. Living back home with her parents and feeling lost, Julia is afraid she’ll never soar again—until the day young Dell Jordan is sent to her office.
In Dell’s writing, Julia recognizes not only her own despair, but also luminous sparks of hope. But as Julia fights to forge a brighter future for one disadvantaged student, she is drawn into startling undercurrents of conflict and denial within the academy. Now, as she is tested in ways she never imagined, Julia begins to discover that even though her life has seemed off course, she’s been on the right path all along...
A former ballet dancer and recovering bulimic helps herself by helping others in this clunky morality tale from Wingate (Over the Moon at the Big Lizard Diner). Ex-ballerina Julia takes a job as a guidance counselor at a middle school for gifted children, where she quickly becomes suspicious that Harrington students are using drugs (the shocking truth: they are). Julia quickly finds a raison d'etre in Dell, a piano prodigy and the orphan child of a heroin-addicted mother whose foster parents are keen but whose GPA is in the gutter. Dell gets Julia involved in an after-school program for under-privileged kids, while Julia helps Dell improve her grades. Meanwhile, Julia's unattached sister gets unexpectedly pregnant-and Julia learns that her family thinks about more than her eating disorder. Julia's real lesson comes, though, when she's fired for refusing to recant or apologize for accusing a Harrington student of using drugs. There are many life lessons in this trite, feel good novel, though adult readers will have learned them a long time ago.