Gorgeous cover! I love tulle and ballet. It's so fluffy.
The story follows Harriet Morton, who grows up in a bleak home with her academic father and nasty old maid aunt. Her only bright point is her ballet class, which she thrives in. One day, a Russian choreographer (I think? maybe he's a manager?) offers her a position in his ballet corp. The company is going to travel to Brazil and the Amazon and offer ballet for the rich rubber barons. Harriet sneaks away and joins the company (and you cheer for her--Ibbotson does a great job at describing an ordinary--yet so bleak--life). Harriet ends up meeting (and falling in love with) Rom Verney, who just may have a connection to her old life. People chase after Harriet and there's drama. The book ends happily, though.
The book is so full of Nature--but in a good way! (See, I'm not totally against "Nature" books!) The descriptions are so vivid of the Amazon. It's fabulous. A Company of Swans had its funny moments, too. The secondary characters are great and actually add to the story.
One of my favorite aspects is the clever weaving Ibbotson does. Earlier, Harriet and Rom discuss someone else's opinion of Romeo and Juliet. Their conversation ties in beautifully at the end--and it involves a chicken feather. I like crafting in a story and there's definitely craftsmanship in her writing. Incidents aren't just random, but hold meaning. That's a sign of a good book.
On a side note, the book is generally labeled YA, but adults will definitely enjoy it, too.