Jim Anderson is a successful businessman, and his wife, Marilyn, is the perfect wife. And why wouldn't she be? He gives her everything she needs. That's why Jim never expected to come home one day and find Marilyn gone. After 27 years of marriage, Marilyn has had enough of f... Read More
After 27 years of marriage, Marilyn has had enough of feeling unloved and neglected. She wants to experience some measure of happiness before she's too old to enjoy it, even signing up for dance lessons, something Jim would never do. What will it take for Jim to finally become the man Marilyn needs him to be?
Combining the literary talents of bestselling author Dan Walsh and the relationship expertise of bestselling author Gary Smalley, The Dance is the romantic first novel in The Restoration Series. Readers will be caught up in these flawed but earnest characters as they rediscover genuine love and start a transformation that will ultimately affect their whole family.
Page Count: 352
- Product type: Book
- Format: Softcover
- Release Date: Mar 20, 2013
- UPC: 9780800721480
- Height: 0
- Width: 0
- Length: 0
- Volumes/Discs: 1
- Pages: 344
- Publish Date: Apr 1, 2013
- Language: English
- Audience Age Maximum: 0
- Audience Age Minimum: 0
- BISAC: "FIC042000"
- ISBN: 0800721489
Customer ReviewsWrite your own review
- Contemporary romance with relational insights by Carole on 8/20/2014
From now on, whenever I hear the phrase "the power of story," The Dance by Dan Walsh and Gary Smalley is one book that will quickly come to mind. The narrative takes real-life issues that many of us face - lack of communication, the drive to get ahead, acceptance by peers, financial insecurity - and meets them head on in a story with relationship advice seamlessly blended into a storyline that simply entertains. The Dance, book on in The Restoration Series, is a character-driven novel, written in an easy-to-read style that captured and held my attention from the very first page.
On his blog, Dan says this about The Restoration Series: "We’ve written the series hoping to reach thousands of Christians who may be struggling or coming up short of their expectations for a truly happy home." While the focus is on the marriage of Jim and Marilyn Anderson, I think the relational gems in this book would help strengthen any relationship. The novels are mostly set in the fictitious town of River Oaks, Florida, which is inspired by a real-life, storybook-like town of Celebration near Disneyworld. Be sure to visit Dan's Restoration Series Pinterest to get a glimpse of this charming town.
The Dance is a book that beautifully weaves Dan Walsh's literary talent with Gary Smalley's relationship expertise, and entertaining fiction with educational truths. I would have thought this blending of styles and message would be somewhat difficult to achieve, but they made it look effortless. Jim and Marilyn are sympathetic characters that I could easily relate to, and strong supporting characters added richness to the story. I especially enjoyed dance instructor Audrey and Jim's Uncle Henry, the hippie who'd found Jesus after almost dying of a drug overdose at Woodstock.
Everything had to revolve around Jim, who had spent years crafting his reputation, and Marilyn avoided confrontation. But while Jim initially attributed their separation to Marilyn's selfishness, it quickly became an eye-opening experience. And I thought the church they attended almost became a major character, for I have known of churches like that - status driven, prestigious, legalistic. In Jim's thoughts, he "was a pariah now, inside that building. A man fallen from grace. If not from God, certainly from men. . . . One never rises once fallen from grace. Not in this church."
The Dance is a story of hope, prayer, forgiveness, restoration, and new beginnings. The beauty of Christianity is God restoring us relationally to Him, and we see another kind of restoration in this story - the marriage relationship - that reflects Christ's relationship with us, His church. The Dance is an example of the power of fiction to transform lives and I highly recommend it.
Thank you to Revell for providing a copy of this book through NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.
- What is easily torn down is difficult to rebuild.... by Nancee on 11/10/2013
Jim and Marilyn Anderson have lived in a relatively one-sided marriage since the day they wed and Jim refused to dance with Marilyn, both disappointing and embarrassing her. Jim's refusal to dance with her began a 27-year relationship based on Jim's priorities and demands with little regard for Marilyn's needs and desires. She was merely of a trophy wife, beautiful, the perfect hostess, and dutifully playing the role of a submissive wife. Extremely unhappy, Marilyn quietly leaves Jim in a search for peace and purpose. Jim's reaction to discovering that Marilyn has left him only results in escalating anger. His stress level is already out of control as a result of his struggling business. Both Christians, Jim can't believe that Marilyn would leave him, nor could he understand why.
As Marilyn attempts to work through her anger and unhappiness, she enrolls in a dance class. The freedom she feels as she learns to dance takes away some of the stress of her unfulfilled life. Jim is approached by Audrey, the former owner of the dance studio, and she convinces him to take private lessons from her. Her lessons run far deeper than just the basic dance steps. Audrey begins to open Jim's heart to his failings as a husband. As she weaves these lessons of a successful and happy, Christ-centered relationship with her lessons in dance Jim's fears and inability express himself are revealed. As she shows him these steps he begins to break down and discover the pain that he caused his wife and children, but wonders if he can overcome the damage that has already resulted.
This poignant fictional story of a struggling relationship is blended with examples for finding healing. Dan Walsh and Gary Smalley have woven a tapestry of fiction and Christian instruction in making a weak marriage strong through the lives of Jim and Marilyn and the blunders of a disrespectful husband. Though Marilyn's character is portrayed in relative innocence regarding the failing marriage, the focus on Jim's lack of respect and concern for his wife is pivotal in revealing the ravages of a selfish nature, lack of respect, fear of failure and subsequent embarrassment. This book is both heartwrenching and heartwarming as these characters seek forgiveness and mercy in an attempt to find their way to a fulfilling relationship. Fortunately I have the second book in the series, and upon finishing The Dance, immediately began to read it. I'm looking forward to discovering the future for Jim and Marilyn's marriage and their relationships with their grown children.
Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from Revell in exchange for my honest review. All opinions expressed are my own, and no monetary compensation was received as a result of this review.
- A Treat by Smiling Sally on 4/1/2013
Usually, books written by two authors turn me off, but this one proved an unexpected treat! From the first page, I knew that this was going to be an memorable book. The storyline moves at just the right pace. The characters are so real that they seem like people I know.
Even though I knew where the plot was heading, I loved turning the pages to see just how we were going to get there. Read this one, folks! I'm looking forward to following this family in Book 2 in the series, <i>The Promise.</i>
Discussion Questions included.
Thank you to Donna Hausler at Baker Publishing Group and Revell for my copy.