Monday, July 15, 2013

Book Review: "The Dance" by Dan Walsh and Gary Smalley

I'd heard about the awards received, and the contracts signed to have this book translated into other languages and became intrigued. What makes this book so honorable? The only way to answer the question was to read the book. And now, I will entice you to read it, too.

The Dance, by Dan Walsh and Gary Smalley

Jim is a wealthy business owner. Good returns have enabled him to buy his wife the best clothes, a lovely home in in the high class section of River Oaks, the current gadget and toys for his kids, exclusive cars, and invitations to social events. 

With his wife by his side, all of River Oaks knows Jim is a successful man, including his church. As a deacon of the mega church, board members choose to rent needed facilities from Jim's available properties. While life could be stressful at times from keeping up with business demands, he always is assured his shirts would be washed and pressed, a meal on the table, kids cared for, and his home spit polished clean--until one day.

Jim has to admit, he had a bad day, and looks forward to going home.  Coming into the house and not finding his dinner on the table irks him, maybe Marilyn is laying in bed sick. He can forgive her this once. After searching the house, Jim can't figure out where she is. Marilyn knows he'd be home at this time, the same minute he arrives everyday. Where is she?

Marilyn walks into her friends apartment and to her new room, barely the size of the walk-in closet at home. The first day of work ends with tired feet but a thrill she hasn't experienced in a long time. She has a job, one of the many things Jim never let her do. 

A string of new opportunities: holding her first paycheck, sitting on an enclosed balcony in her pajamas, and etc. led Marilyn to sign up for something she had always wanted to do, take dance lessons. Jim would never let her leave the house for something so foolish. He wouldn't even dance with her at their wedding reception. Each day she woke in her new world feeling freedom, respect from others, a chance to make her own decisions, and joy.

One week later, Jim realizes Marilyn is not coming home. He didn't know what to do. 

After meeting with an unusual new friend, Jim sets everything aside to win back Marilyn. The work is much more than he expects, but his true love is worth every step. Despite his endeavors, though, she doesn't respond as he hopes. Is it too late to win the woman he treasures back?

I appreciated the point of view of this story. 

Walsh and Smalley wrote a timeless story that can touch every home in some way. I feel it was very well crafted, didn't hold back on this difficult issue at all, raised real issues and hardships, and most importantly, brought about the perfect ending, one the reader will definitely need a box of tissues.

One organization I review books for instructs reviewers to reserve the rating of "5+" for the books containing not only a great story but also some element of life change for the reader. This simply means the theme in some way is able to tug at the heart of the reader and invites change. 

With this in mind, I can't help but rate The Dance: 5+ and heartily invite you to read it.

Let's Talk about this: 

Do you like books that have something more than the story? 
(I like to read to relax. But maybe those very relaxing books contain something that is helpful, a changing of my view.) 

Can you name a book that had an element which helped you? (let's keep to fiction for this discussion.)

I purchased this book with my own money and have received nothing from the authors or the publisher for this review.


Dan Walsh said...

Mary, honored by your review. Thanks for all the kind words.

Mary Vee Writer said...

Thanks for stopping by, today, Dan. I am honored.