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Drenched in Light (Tending Roses #4)

4.07  ·  Rating Details  ·  719 Ratings  ·  88 Reviews
Deep in my heart, a part of me will always be barefoot, running through the shallows of Mulberry Creek, with my eyes closed and my arms stretched out like I could fly. 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 as a gu ...more
ebook, 320 pages
Published June 27th 2006 by New American Library
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Mar 08, 2009 Laren rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
Julia is at a crossroad in her life. Having collapsed during a professional ballet rehearsal due to an eating disorder, she has just left the hospital and returned home to her overbearing parents worried she will relapse. As part of her recovery, she was forced to leave the world of dance and starts a job as a guidance counselor at the same private high school where she was educated as a girl. One day a student is sent to her office with an essay, and thus starts a series of events which leads h ...more
Lisa Carter
Oh, my. . .

Ever read a book that causes you to catch your breath? To laugh only to find silent tears running down your face at the same time?

Lisa Wingate writes from a deep well of pain, of performance anxiety, of hiding behind the lie we fear above all else—that we are unlovable.

In the characters of Dell and Julia, we see glimpses of ourselves—sorrow and joy—the beauty of God working within—drenched "from the inside out in light."

Now it's a toss up as to which is my favorite book in the Tending
Feb 22, 2016 Sonya rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: current
Lisa presents hope and solutions for those struggling with being adopted, and those struggling with addictions. As the main character works through her struggles, she finds that reaching out to others with similar issues, bring healing to her.

Lisa presents information on how to look for those addicted, their stages, their signs, without being like a textbook. She shows the importance of confronting, even when it's yourself, and the need for support.

A heart-warming story that brings answers, bu
Dec 17, 2009 Marilyn rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Marilyn by: Nancy Tregaskis
Julia, the main character, collapses from bulemia under the demands of an advanced professional career. She is hired in an unglamorous job as a guidance counselor at a performing arts high school. She's living at home with her parents, feeling lost, and a failure. Her interest in the writing talents of one of her students draws her out of her selfish depression. She discovers that there's a drug problem near the high school, and she starts a campaign against the drug dealers, and wins.
SUMMARY: Once a gifted ballet dancer, Julia Costell buckled under the demands of a professional dance career, and has landed with a thud in an unglamorous job as a guidance counselor at a performing arts high school. Living back home with her parents and feeling lost, she is afraid she’ll never soar again…until the day young Dell Jordan is sent to her office, carrying an essay.

In Dell’s writing, Julia sees luminous sparks of hope. But as she fights to forge a brighter future for one disadvantage
May 31, 2015 J.N. rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

I always forget how much I like Lisa Wingate's books.


It's hard to remember the previous books I've read, but I believe so far this plot is my favorite. It centers around a young woman who has to retire from her ballet career and becomes a middle school guidance counselor. While battling the demons of her past, she meets Dell Jordan, a musically gifted student who is also struggling with her past, as well as her present and future. It dealt with some real life topics such as drugs, imperfect
Wall-to-wall books - wendy
I have liked Lisa Wingate for a while and have really wanted to read another book by her. This is now, I think, my 4th. And I have a couple others downloaded on my nook which I am excited about. One thing about her books - there is a lot of substance to them! They are not light fluffy, easy reading, romance books. Her books give you a lot to think about and make you wonder "What would I do in her situation?" and I did just that.
This one being about teen drug abuse in a private school and eating
Marika Gillis
Jun 17, 2009 Marika Gillis rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Ramona
Shelves: fiction
Julia Costell's professional ballet dancing dreams are destroyed when her desperate struggle with an eating disorder comes to light. Her dancing aspirations shattered, Julia returns to her former life- living with her parents and working as a guidance counselor at the high school she once attended. Harrington High School is a magnet school for gifted students and Julia quickly begins to suspect that a drug problem is prevalent among the talented students. As she attempts to address her concerns, ...more
Holly (2 Kids and Tired)
I think that this book is my favorite Wingate book so far. I simply couldn't put it down. The story follows Julia, a former ballet dancer whose career is cut short due to a life-threatening eating disorder. After she "recovers" she becomes a guidance counselor at a middle school and befriends Dell Jordan, who is living with Karen and James from "The Language of the Sycamores" and struggling to fit in at her elite arts school.

The format is the same as Wingate's previous books: homespun wisdom and
Jul 18, 2008 Susannah rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed this book. I haven't been able to stop thinking about it since I put it down. I found myself really loving the characters and very interested in what was going to happen to them. I thought Lisa Wingate had great character development. She was able to create genuine characters- people I feel like I could meet on the street and have them be very real. I also thought the author did a good job of weaving the threads of each person's story line together and making it believable. And ...more
May 04, 2014 Mindy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I picked this up as a used book, not realizing it was part of a series (#4 in the series). I didn't feel like a was missing anything though-this seemed like a stand alone book. Even though it was a bit predictable I enjoyed this quick read and would read the others by this author if I came across them.
Dec 21, 2008 Shanda rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I picked this book up without knowing anything about the author or the book besides the cover description and I really enjoyed it. The characters and plot were interesting to me and I liked the character progression of Julia as she metamorphes from being a dancer with an eating-disorder to an effective middle school guidance counselor. She makes peace with herself and learns to accept responsibility for her choices instead of playing the victim. Along the way she is able to help the students at ...more
Apr 16, 2011 Ashley rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
First book I've read by Wingate. The characters are life like, descriptions of physical appearance brings them to live in my mind. This book reads like a movie. I thought it would be a light read, and although it was at times superficial day to day experiences it isn't until the reality sets in that there is more to these people than we first perceive. The demons that Julia, or Ms. C as she is referred to by her students, deals with during her daily interactions with those around her are real. I ...more
May 25, 2016 Erin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4.5 stars. I bought this book in a used book store and was a little disappointed to find so few ratings on Goodreads. But, this book does not disappoint. I fell in love with the characters and really appreciated the growth you saw in each one.
Sep 06, 2009 Kelly rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Until I get around to reviewing each individually......

General review of Lisa Wingate:

Although I have liked some more than others, I have never read a Wingate book I didn't like. Her books are easy reads, but do have substance to them. Often romance is involved, but no ridiculous or smutty story lines. Her writing is funny and light.

Each series has books that are interconnected, but minimally. For me, it is nice to not read about the same characters over and over.

Finally, I adore most of her b
Krystal  Read
Jan 01, 2016 Krystal Read rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Dec 07, 2014 Sally rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It took me awhile to get into this particular book. And as more pages went by I got very absorbed and wanted to keep on, keep on and I just finished. It was very good, so informative about the school leaders, students so troubled and searching for help without realizing it. I truly recommend this for just the research done if not the emotional struggles the main character shared with the reader that draws you in.
Oct 18, 2009 Nikki rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: on-my-shelf
I was drawn to this book from the fact that when reading the synopsis, I figured I might identify with the main character, and her struggle. I'm definitely not a anorexic/bulimic dancer (quite the opposite as my being overweight has affected me negatively) and that she's searching for purpose in what seems to be a meaningless an mindless job. I like the story, and the characters, and it moved quickly, and kept me interested. I only gave it 3 stars because I don't think it was as well written as ...more
Skylar Hatfield
I have read several Lisa Wingate books. I read them, because they are clean. The endings are satisfying. They have messages of growth. Sometimes, they do get tedious. This book was not my favorite Wingate book. I did not relate to the main character. I also found that I was not surprised by the twists in the story. Because of the clean, positive message, you wont' feel bad about sharing it with your mother or daughter. But you won't be challenged intellectually by the story line. I read it on th ...more
Jul 25, 2011 Myla rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really liked this book! Fascinating to have a character with an eating disorder, it made me want to know a little more about that. Again, I liked having the perspective change on characters you already know and love in some way. Fun to follow someone's life that you already knew somehow. She painted the picture of struggle very well, the struggle with the food. How many times do we not choose the life we're living right now because our circumstances just took us there without asking? More than ...more
Cricket Muse
Aug 06, 2013 Cricket Muse rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
On the surface this appears to be a light, breezy contemporary read concerning a young woman who is still settling into mainstream life. Then Wingate brings in tough issues like bulimia, teen drug addiction, the pressures of the school system, and the search for identity. She weaves all this into a likable plot filled with distinct characters without being didactic, which is the mark of a talented writer. While this is the fourth in a series it stands alone, which also shows the author's ability ...more
I actually liked this book a lot more than I thought I would. I liked Julia and her insecurities and I thought that there was a good balance among the characters. The book had an optimistic nature with general themes of "Stand firm for what you believe", "Act as if you make a difference - you do" and "We are really all the same on the inside". I thought the ending was just a little too "happily ever after" though but by the end the characters had grown on me and I didn't really mind. I would try ...more
Jan 20, 2009 Jess rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: book-club
This is the sequel of the story of little Dell from our other book club book, Tending Roses. Can't wait to see what happens to this sweet little girl.

This was a very heartwarming story. Lisa is very gifted in helping you get to know the characters. I would say the only thing that really bugs about it is the repetitiveness of phrases, "If so and so was feeling _________, they didn't show it." It got to be almost predictable. Aside from that, I love these characters. I love learning more about the
Nov 06, 2008 Libby rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone
This is another in the Tending Rose series. What I like is that you do not have to read these books in order. I think I have read all of the books now and I liked this last one just as much as the first. I have enjoyed getting to know Ms. Wingates characters and each book makes me recall all of the previous characters in her earlier books. I liked that she brought the eating disorder into this story and how she based the story on a real issue that faces many of our young people today.
Apr 01, 2015 Heather rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Once again a good msg.
This was a good book. It had a lot to do with a personal journey of a woman who had, in her past, dealt with bulimia. She was faced with a life crisis and the story is developed to show how circumstances in her life help her to come to grips with a former idea of herself and how she evolves. Of course, it is fiction; but it is a hopeful story and confirms that when we lose ourselves in the service of others, we find ourselves. That's a good philosophy.
Sep 02, 2011 Larisha rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was the 3rd of Lisa Wingate's books and I
enjoyed characters reappearing from the other books. Dell
& Julia soar.... As God's plans for their lives unfold!!

Using some wording from the book on page 230, 'What abiding Faith and strength we have when we live moment by moment following God's direction/navigating. To many people, it may seem line our lives have no particular plan, but we are standing on Christ, our SOLID ROCK!
Karen Benson
Jan 18, 2011 Karen Benson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have read several of Lisa Wingate's novels, and while most seem a little fluffy, this one dealt with some serious subjects...bulemia, drugs, family dynamics and teenaged angst.

It wasn't overloaded with unnecessary characters - each played an important role in the story.

While it reminded me a bit of an Afterschool Special, it pulled me in right from the start and I had to devour it all at once.

I give it 4 1/2 stars.
Jan 27, 2010 Charity rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was the third book dealing with the Vangortler family. It follows the life of Dell, her foster parents, and her guidance counselor. I thought the author did a good job dealing with tough issues that youth face. The words and descriptions of what it feels like to be a foster child, to be abandoned, to have eating disorders, or to deal with drug addictions, were poignant. It made me want to be a better person.
Nov 10, 2008 chelsea rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is about a lady who because of an eating disorder can no longer dance. She ends up as a guidance counselor in the jr. high that she went to. It deals a lot with whether or not she should give up her ideals in order to fit into the way the school is run or do what she knows is best for the students. Of course I liked that aspect but also it was a feel good story.
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Lisa Wingate is a popular inspirational speaker, magazine columnist, and national bestselling author of several books, including Tending Roses, Good Hope Road, The Language of Sycamores, and Drenched in Light. Her work was recently honored by the Americans for More Civility for promoting greater kindness and civility in American life. Lisa and her family live in Central Texas.
More about Lisa Wingate...

Other Books in the Series

Tending Roses (5 books)
  • Tending Roses (Tending Roses #1)
  • Good Hope Road  (Tending Roses #2)
  • The Language of Sycamores (Tending Roses #3)
  • A Thousand Voices (Tending Roses #5)

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