The Dancing Master by Julie Klassen
Bethany House, 2014
When I read the premise of this book, I immediately thought of ‘Footloose.’ There are undertones in this story that remind me of the movie, however The Dancing Master is able to distinguish itself as a solid novel distinct from the movie.
The town of Devonshire is shrouded in secrets and mystery. When Alec Valcourt arrives with his family, he is surprised to learn that dancing is not allowed. How can he support his family if his skills and profession is unnecessary in this town? And why is dancing not allowed?
But these are not all the secrets that surround the town; these secrets run deep and are hidden from scrutiny. And what about Alec? He and his family seem to have their own past that they wish to keep hidden.
With so many secrets threatening to come to the surface, will the truth ever be spoken?
All the mystery surrounding the town and people of Devonshire is intriguing. The many unknowns of this book are withheld from the reader until the very end, when things slowly begin to be revealed.
Alec’s character was hard-working, strong, and caring. He persevered and was devoted to his family. Julia’s character was reckless and flirtatious. It was difficult to feel for her for a majority of the book. However, Alec is able to see past her outward appearance. He understood that her behavior was a façade, and beneath it, Alec saw her insecurities and her vulnerable heart and cared for her.
The mystery is what brings this story to life. Julie Klassen writes a beautiful story filled with complex characters in this Regency era novel.
Rating: 3 1/2 stars
*I was provided a free copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest review.*