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Saturday, July 30, 2011

Best. Book. Ever. My review of Dance of the Dandelion by Dina Sleiman!

Dance of the Dandelion
About the book:

Love's quest leads her the world over. Dandelion Dering was born a peasant in the English village of Arun, but her soul yearned for another life, another world. One filled with color and music, with adventure and passion . . . with more.

Haunted by childhood memories, Dandelion determines to find a better existence than the life every peasant in the village contents themselves with. Even if her sweetheart William s predictions prove true, and her journey leads straight to heartache.

From her sleepy hamlet to the intrigue of castle life, from the heart of London to the adventurous seas, Dandelion flees from the mistakes of her past, always seeking that something, that someone who will satisfy her longings.

Will Dandelion ever find the rhythm to her life's dance . . . or did she leave her chance for true love at home in Arun village?

My review:

I have finally found the perfect novel. Seriously! This is the best book I have read in a very long time and I've read over 200 books in the last two years.

In the acknowledgements at the end of the book the author credits Donald Maas for teaching her how to develop at decent plot into a stellar one. She far exceeded stellar and I dare say this book for me was more of a mindblowing romance and spiritual love story similar to Redeeming Love, a best-selling novel by Francine Rivers. Over the years I have read a ton of books set during this time period and none of them came close to being as exhilarating for me as this one. It not only inspired me, but reading this novel was downright addicting. I had to have my fix daily until I finished the book. When I reached the end I felt and ovewhelming sense of satisfaction at having experience the highs and lows of Dandelion's journey as well as bonding so closely to the characters that I felt as if I had also experienced the same boundless joy by the end of the book. The resolution was stellar, and beyond satisfying.

I can't say enough good things about this book. I feel like my words will be inadequate, but I'll try to explain why this book will forever remain in my heart as a favorite read right up there with Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers. For one thing, the author had so many insights into not only the physical and emotional realm of Dandelion's existence, but she nailed her spiritual journey as well. We have all asked ourselves the same questions and have at times felt the same longing for more than we have. We have all sought that joy that can only come from knowing God. The Bible says if you seek God with your whole heart (like Dandelion did) you will find Him. Unfortunately many of us trip and fall many times along the way. Some of us make terrible choices with devastating consequences and others make better ones, but we all make choices every day. We are all capable of being led astray, and often childhood pain drives our desire for whatever it is we seek. This story showed that in a way that made sense, and it was so well-written. The prose was beautiful and sigh-worthy, for sure.

For me the most emotional and touching part of the story had to do with Dandelion's fear of her own passion. God made her that way and she knew that deep inside. When she tried to squelch it, the effect never lasted. She longed for love and a better life, but her passion was misdirected so many times. She thought maybe choosing someone who was stable and secure was what she needed to control that passion that frightened her so many times, but that didn't work. Often women are drawn to men who have self-serving and selfish desires because they are so charming and passionate as well, but not in a way that shows love. That initial bond quickly shatters when the true colors of the person doing the abusing comes out and then the woman is trapped. Dandelion was strong in so many ways, but at the same time she was so very human. I loved her dearly as if she were a real person. Dance of the Dandelion inspired me in a place deep inside my heart that books rarely touch. I highly recommend this story for anyone who has looked for love and satisfaction in the wrong places and thus made poor choices in this life. The book illustrates through well-written characterization how you can experience the freedom to worship God with passion and fulfill that desire to know Him more. That's what Dandelion's story did for me.

Dance of the Dandelion was published by Whitefire and will release in paperback Oct. 2011. The kindle version of this book is currently available. 


JoyAnne said...

You have made me buy this book, I just downloaded it from and will start reading it this afternoon. Looking forward to it!
Thanks for a great review!

Sarah Allen said...

Wow, this looks amazing! Definitely want to read it now :)

Sarah Allen
(my creative writing blog)

Dina Sleiman said...

I can't say thanks enough, Michelle. Clearly, this is the awesomest review ever. I hope I can live up to it :)

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