Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Book Review: The Dancing Master

The Dancing Master. Julie Klassen. 2014. Bethany House. 432 pages. [Source: Review copy]

I did not LOVE The Dancing Master. Since I have loved, loved, loved most of Julie Klassen's previous novels, I almost feel guilty that I don't LOVE The Dancing Master too. But it isn't a bad thing to merely like something.

Julia Midwinter, our heroine, kept me from "loving" this one. Her personality, her character, I found annoying, obnoxious even. She's bold and flirtatious, a bit defiant. She seems to like the fact that she doesn't get along with her mother, she seeks to do the opposite of whatever her mother would want her to do.

Alec Valcourt, our hero, I really adored. The Dancing Master has dual narration. The sections narrated by Alec and focusing on him and his family I really did love. I liked seeing Alec move into this community. I liked seeing him try to make a new start, trying to make friends, trying to keep the peace and make the best of a bad situation. It was easy to like him, easy to respect him.

Julia's mother has "forbidden" the community to dance. And apparently the "authority" she possesses has been enough to keep almost everyone under her control. Alec is a dancing and fencing master. He'd be happy to teach publicly at an academy, or to give private lessons to families. He's new to town and a bit shocked at this "rule" of no dancing. Will he be able to get any students?

Julia, of course, is instantly attracted to Alec. She sees him, she wants him, she flirts shamelessly. Alec is calm and resistant. He's not a fool. He's not going to let anyone like Julia rob him of his new chance in life.

Though I did not like the main character, Julia, I happened to really like most of the other characters. There were a few minor characters that I actually loved: Alec, of course, and Patience, Julia's best friend, and Walter Allen.

© Becky Laney of Operation Actually Read Bible

No comments: