Julia Midwinter's youth and vitality often stand in opposition to her mother's rules. As village matriarch, Julia's mother has prohibited all forms of dancing. This seemingly harsh rule is shrouded in family secrets, including the deaths of Julia's aunt and uncle. By natural curiosity and rebellion, Julia is drawn to Alec Valcourt, the newly arrived dancing master from London. However, Alec's past also proves dark and messy and he's certainly not the type of man Julia's mother would approve of. Will Alec and Julia both discover the truths about their pasts so that they can embrace the future with hope? Read more in The Dancing Master by Julie Klassen.
The Dancing Master by Julie Klassen is a stand-alone novel set in early nineteenth century England. The mystery of Julia's past hooked my attention and kept me wondering how all the people and events fit together. For me, this is what kept the story flowing as I didn't find the characters as captivating as I expected. By the author's intention, I suspect, Julia's character was hard to like in the beginning. However, even after Julia's internal motivations became more clear and she began to develop as a character, I still found it difficult to like her. Lastly, someone mentioned to me that it sounds like a take-off of Footloose. However, I've never seen the movie, so I can't really speak that. I don't discourage anyone from reading the book, but I do recommend borrowing from the library before purchasing.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."
This is another wonderful novel by Julie Klassen and I haven't found one yet that hasn't been delightful! She has written another classic, one I am sure you will want to keep and read again. Filled with all the drama and insights of character, love, pride, relationships, forgiveness, faith and more.
Mr. Valcourt, handsome, once successful dancing master with secrets to hide meets spirited and willful Julia Midwinter whose mother strikes fear into every townsperson who dares dance - because of tragedy and loss twenty years in the past that she won't forgive and forget.
I will say that this is a story that lures you in, giving you hints at the mysterious past of several characters and how these secrets affect many in the now. By chapter seven, you should be hooked and have enough hints that you are starting to piece parts of the puzzle together. This only brings the story more to life and lends excitement, as you eagerly anticipate seeing how things will unfold and work out.
This book still contained the mystery and well-thought out plots, like the other Klassen books. It is like Julie Klassen gently pulls a shoe string and reveals just what we need to know when we need to know it. It is never a hurried or rushed pace, but leaves the reader wanting to know more with each page read.
The story is well written with delightful characters. Julia somewhat reminds me of Scarlett O'Hara. She is willful, selfish, spoiled and quiet the flirt. However, there is more to her than that; she is also a loyal, brave young woman, who longs for approval and love. She definitely keeps the story interesting!
For fans of Julie Klassen this is sure to be a delight and for those that have never read one of Julie Klassen's novels, this is a good one to start with. If you like Jane Austen novels, then you should pick this one up!
I received a copy of The Dancing Master from Bethany House in exchange for an honest review.
Delightfully packed with mystery and romance! And one of the best things is that all of this is set in a place reminiscent of Jane Austen or Charlotte Bronte. And one special little touch_I checked on the back cover and there was Pemberley, from the 1995 Pride and Prejudice! That may or may not have made my day just a little bit. So cool. Anyway, the heroine was sweet yet spicy - a delightful combination. And I mentioned that it's packed with mystery - you will have trouble putting this book down! The words that Julie chose to use are perfect for the setting - I was impressed. This book is all-around a delightful read that I recommend for Regency lovers!
**Bethany House Publishers sent me this book in return for my honest review. All opinions and thoughts are my own. I was not recompensed for this review, or forced to post positively.**
I had high hopes for this novel and perhaps high expectations. I enjoyed the plot and there was some mystery involving the ban on dancing that was revealed in bits and pieces throughout. I had a hard time relating to Julia, and I found myself wanting to know more about several of the secondary characters who had the potential to be more interesting than the main characters- their friends and peers who seemed to be there for convenience, but not developed. I didn't feel any romantic chemistry between Alec and Julia- they made better friends in my opinion.
The Dancing Master is a historical romance based in late 1800's England. A small town no longer allows dancing and its history as to why is quite mysterious to the new Dance Master that has just moved into town. As he tries to make a new life for himself he finds new friendships and perhaps love along the way. I enjoyed the excerpts from real Newspaper clippings that were at the head of each chapter. I love the true historical perspective is woven throughout the novel. This is a good historical fiction novel and I enjoyed reading it.
I received this book free from Bethany House Publishers in Exchange for my review.