Where I share my love of books with reviews, features, giveaways and memes. Family and needlepoint are thrown in from time to time.


Sunday, April 7, 2013

Book Review; The Dance by Dan Walsh and Gary Smalley

Title: The Dance (Book 1, The Restoration Series)
Authors: Dan Walsh & Gary Smalley
Publisher: Revell

About the Book: After 27 years of marriage, Marilyn Anderson is tired of playing the role of perfect wife.  Her husband Jim is a successful businessman who gives her everything she needs -- a beautiful home in an upscale neighborhood, the financial freedom to be a stay-at-home om, an enviable collection of stuff.  Everything, that is, except what really matters:  love.

After years of trying to connect with Jim, Marilyn has had enough.  she longs to experience some measure of happiness before she's too old to enjoy it.  Needing some time to herself to sort things out, Marilyn leaves to start a new job and take dancing lessons -- something she has wanted to do for as long as she can remember.

Shocked to find his wife gone, Jim Anderson must sort through the past to save his marriage.  With a little help from an unexpected ally, he begins a campaign to win Marilyn back.  What he doesn't anticipate is how his actions will affect everyone around him -- starting with himself. 

Combining the literary talents of bestselling author Dan Walsh and the relationship expertise of bestselling author Gary Smalley, The Dance is the first novel in The Restoration Series. Readers will get caught up in these flawed but sincere members of the Anderson family as they rediscover genuine love and start a transformation that ultimately affects all of them. Based on the principles behind Smalley’s bestselling The DNA of Relationships, Walsh expertly weaves proven relationship advice to restore a marriage into this powerful novel.

In The Dance, readers will meet the Anderson family amidst crisis. Jim Anderson is a successful businessman, and his wife, Marilyn, is the perfect wife. Jim never expected to come home one day and find Marilyn gone. What will it take to restore their marriage before their problems shatter the entire family?

Smalley previously collaborated with New York Times bestselling author Karen Kingsbury on the wildly successful Redemption Series introducing her readers to the beloved Baxter family. After seeing the impact those characters continue to have with readers, Smalley partnered with Walsh to create powerful storylines that transcend words on a page and begin to impact readers’ marriages and relationships.

“I’ve learned what a tremendous impact novels can have on the real relationships of readers,” says Smalley. “And when I read Dan Walsh’s work, I knew—this was a guy who can tap into the needs of the heart.  I’m thrilled we could work together to create the story of the Anderson family.” 

Other novels in the series will following the Anderson family as Walsh and Smalley continue to draw from The DNA of Relationships as well as several other of Smalley’s bestselling books on marriage and family relationships.

Walsh’s writing is known for enthralling the reader and creating emotional connections with his characters. In a review of his last novel, The Reunion (September 2012), USA Today’s Happily Ever After said Walsh has a “… gift for pulling the heartstrings and encouraging a slow build of tears within his reader.” Similarly RT Book Reviews wrote, “Walsh is so gifted that the reader becomes a part of his stories.”

Available April 2013 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.

My thoughts: This was a wonderful book! It really hit home learning that a Christian marriage and family can also have misunderstandings to the point that a person doesn't feel loved.  Marilyn was so strong to finally walk out, after who knows how many months or years of trying to get her husband's attention.  She moves in with a single christian woman and starts working at a local gift shop.  One day at lunch, she meets an elderly woman, Audrey, who used to own the local dance studio.  It is because of this meeting that she decides to take dance lessons.

Meanwhile, Jim also meets Audrey one evening after a confrontation with Marilyn outside that dance studio. Audrey talks to him a little about his troubles with Marilyn and convinces him to let her give him private dance lessons.  Jim hates dancing so much, he wouldn't even dance with Marilyn at their wedding!  Audrey uses these dance lessons to also start to teach Jim about relationships.  The Dance is very much a metaphor for life and how we relate to other people.

I enjoyed this book so much, that I order The DNA of Relationships by Gary Smalley this afternoon.  I can't wait to share it with my husband.

~I received a complimentary copy of this book from Revell in exchange for my unbiased review.~

About the authors: Dan Walsh is the award-winning author of several books, including The Discovery and The Reunion. A member of American Christian Fiction Writers, Dan served as a pastor for 25 years. He lives with his wife in the Daytona Beach area, where he's busy researching and writing his next novel. For more information about Walsh and his books, visit his web site at www.DanWalshBooks.com and follow him on Twitter at @DanWalshAuthor.

Gary Smalley is one of the country’s best known authors and speakers on family relationships. He is the bestselling and award-winning author or coauthor of more than 60 books. He has spent over 40 years learning, teaching and counseling, speaking to over 2 million people in live conferences. Smalley has appeared on national television programs such as Oprah, Larry King Live, Extra and TODAY, as well as numerous national radio programs. Gary and his wife, Norma, have been married for 48 years and live in Branson, Missouri. They have three children, all in full time ministry to families, couples and orphans, and they enjoy their wonderful relationships with their ten grandchildren.

Publisher/Publication Date: Revell, April 2013
ISBN:  978-0-8007-2148-0
352 pages

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