The Dance by Suzie Carr is not a light read. It is the story of overcoming terrible grief and learning to forgive yourself and others. Having said that, it isn’t a dark read either. Suzie Carr has a rather remarkable talent of putting grief into words and then taking us on a journey to redemption and light.
The Dance is the story of Jacky and Sophie. Jacky is a dog trainer and Sophie is her fifteen-year old stepdaughter. The book begins with a glimpse at life with Drew, Jacky’s wife and Sophie’s mother, before she dies in a car accident. I will be straightforward here, the first part of the book is predominantly arguing which was tough to read.
Then Drew dies and Jacky and Sophie have to figure out how to live in a world that is not just filled with grief but with wounds from a conversation that Sophie overhears just before her mother’s death.
Enter Brooke, a woman with a challenging dog named Bee. Bee needs a trainer and quickly, so Brooke contacts Jacky and hires her to help.
Through the course of events Sophie also meets Brooke and Brooke hires her to assist in the bee apiary that she runs.
This is a sweet and wonderful tale of redemption that sees all three finding happiness and I am happy to say that Bee receives the training she needs too.
I loved the variety of characters in the book. Carr kept each one unique enough that I was never lost and each one played a role in the story.
I enjoyed the interaction between Jacky and Sophie it was pretty realistic and I loved the relationship that came at the end.
The Writing Style
Carr has a beautiful way of describing things. I think my favorite part of the book is the way she writes.
The narration was decent. I felt at times it lost the beauty of the language, though, and would have liked a little more range to express that. But it was not bad and I enjoyed listening to it.
If you are in the mood for a drama with a happy ending then this is a good book for you. Carr has a unique ability to take a really big tragedy and have the characters work through it in a realistic way, coming out on the other side stronger and better for it.
I loved some of the side stories like that of Marie, Jacky’s business partner, being a bit of a hoarder and Jacky having to deal with that.
I also really enjoyed the research that Carr did on bee keeping. It was interesting getting to know a little more about these funny little honey creators.
This wasn’t a con for me but there is a brief mention of cheating. I did like how Carr handled it, though, and didn’t find it at all distressing.
I enjoyed the story and recommend it to anyone who enjoys a drama. If you like books that take you on a realistic journey from pain to release then this is the book for you.
Excerpt from The Dance by Suzie Carr
Through the maze of casseroles, cheerful greeting cards, and constant messages from friends, she clung to the false hope that somewhere underneath all the heartbreak they might find peace. Then, a cruel reminder would pop up in the form of a bill still in Drew’s name or an annual doctor’s appointment reminder.
Reminders poked at her from every direction. She only had to look up from her cereal bowl every morning to catch a glimpse of Drew in Sophie’s face as she scrambled past her to fetch an apple before escaping the confines of the kitchen.
The kitchen had shrunk. It withered down to a dark and airless closet. Drew’s death changed that once lively, seasoned room. It lacked vitality and the song of a happy family chopping broccoli and carrots together under the ambiance of track lighting and Sinatra.
Every time Jacky looked at Sophie, with her doe-like eyes, guilt hammered her, burying her deeper into the darkness. The splinters of circumstance gutted her, all because of a stupid argument over and eye appointment and freezer door.
Listen to a reading from The Dance by Suzie Carr
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Bits and Bobs
- ISBN number: 9780986388149
- Publisher: Sunny Bee Books
- Audiobook Publisher: Sunny Bee Books
- Narrator: Clara Nipper
Suzie Carr Online
- Podcaster Profile on The Lesbian Talk Show
- Author Profile on The Lesbian Review