Way, way back in some month that ends in "ber", I requested a book to review from booksneeze.com. It took several weeks to arrive, which was fine (I could have reviewed the electronic copy but I like reading on paper, so I was willing to wait). By the time it arrived, I was busy with other things (aka, Christmas), so I didn't get to sit down and read it as quickly as I would have liked. But I finally finished it this week. Here is my review:
Karen Kingsbury's A Time to Dance is the story of a husband and wife who have been married for twenty-or-so years and now their marriage, which all their friends and family idealise, is falling apart. They are about to announce their divorce when their daughter gets engaged. After putting their own announcement on hold until after the wedding, Abby and John grow further and further apart while hiding behind the facade of happily married parents-of-the-bride.
Ok, this story made me cry. Of course it did. For reasons I won't get into here, the topic of divorce has been weighing on my heart lately (The reasons are not related to my marriage, so don't worry!). The very idea of it breaks my heart.
Overall, I enjoyed the story, but I did think the disintegration of the marriage was rather drawn out. The use of flashbacks seemed a bit excessive. I think more of the story was told in flashbacks than in the present! But I really enjoyed the stories told in the flashbacks. The dialogue was mostly realistic, which was great! Most of the characters were well written. I know girls like Nicole, women like Abby. But my favourite character in the book is definitely Jo Harter. I could hear and see that woman in every scene she was in. Picture the character of Olive from Pushing Daisies, add a love of fishing, and that's Jo.
One thing that surprised me is the level of physical passion that was portrayed in a Christian book. But it's been a while since I've read Christian romance.
If you read this book, you must read the Author's Note at the end. In my opinion, that is the best part of this book. Here is an excerpt:
"When I think of the divorce situation is society today, I am and always will be deeply grieved. In the dance of life, the casualties of our instant, self-serving, self-indulgent society abound among us. Brokenhearted men and women who struggle through life alone; toddlers whose lives are built around two houses, two bedrooms, and two sets of parents; teenage boys and girls who have no idea how to honor one another or keep commitments...If nothing else, I pray that A Time to Dance made you compassionate. Compassionate for people suffering through divorce, for children whose parents have separated. Compassionate toward the spouse you might--even now--be walking away from..."My copy of this book was provided free from Booksneeze.com in exchange for an honest review. The opinions noted are mine alone.