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They Danced On, A Darling Family novel by Carre Armstrong Gardner
A mother ready to enjoy her life after raising her family. A husband and father struck by a crippling disease. A daughter who left home to find freedom, suddenly discovering that she needs her family after all. Life in the Darling family is filled with surprises and a rollercoaster of emotions. But through it all, they are always family.
Number of Pages: 400
Vendor: Tyndale House
Publication Date: 2016
|Dimensions: 8.25 X 5.50 (inches)|
Laura Darling moved away to escape the expectations of her family. Ever since she went through rehab, they watch her like a hawk. Now she has a good job, new friends, and no one to criticize her or comment on everything shes doing. But when everything begins to unravel, Lauras heart turns toward home.
Follow the Darling family through triumph and tragedy as they struggle with an uncertain future.
lcjohnson1988IndianaAge: 45-54Gender: female5 Stars Out Of 5very touchingMarch 22, 2017lcjohnson1988IndianaAge: 45-54Gender: femaleQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5The other two novels in the series are titled, All Right Here followed by Better All the Time by the same author. I didnt read the other novels prior to reading They Danced On. However, for me, it was still a very potent story being told by the author. The Darling family has had its share of trials; the characters deal with life issues just like other families. The book in some ways was hard to read because I could identify strongly with the matriarch of the family named Jane who was wrestling with many trials one being her youngest moving out. Jane wasnt ready for the empty nest period of her life, especially with her husbands ALS struggles.
One of the Darlings daughters is named Laura and was struggling with alcohol while another daughter just got married and leaves to work as a missionary with her new husband. Jane begins to wrestle with what her future is going to be when all she has been identified with is being a mother, wife and taking care of the home. Now, as she looks down the road, she isnt sure what she will be doing with her time or what is Gods purpose for her in this season and more.
I could identify with Jane as my family will be going through some good changes next year and I am thankful so far our health is good. Like Jane, I look to the Lord and believe He has a job for me to do and that my identity is in Him and not earthly titles. Other readers may understand some of the siblings issues or marital stuff that occurs. I loved how Jane and her husband, Leander, walked together through the tough season of his decline due to ALS. The author doesnt spell out in detail what happens, but focuses the readers on the faith of the various family members as well as how strength from being a family unit helps as they walk through life experiences.
Personally, I wouldnt recommend reading this during the holidays if readers have suffered with someone who has ALS or a long term illness or a recent loved one passing. Whenever people choose to read this novel and perhaps the prior two, I believe they will come away as I did with hope. For with God we can walk through the various trials and come out with a closer relationship with Him.
tumcsecTuscaloosa, ALAge: 55-65Gender: female4 Stars Out Of 5Faith, Family, ForgivenessNovember 29, 2016tumcsecTuscaloosa, ALAge: 55-65Gender: femaleQuality: 4Value: 4Meets Expectations: 4The Darlings are a large family and since this is my first book to be read in the series, it took just a little while to get everyone straight and their relationship. Once that was accomplished I enjoyed reading about the struggles within but also the love. The characters were real, they weren't perfect. Each had their own demon to conquer. From addiction to denial, it was all there. The mother, Jane, had a very hard time coming to grips with her husband's diagnosis of ALS. She kept believing that God was going to heal him completely. She even quoted scripture. At times I just wanted to slap her. She was holding back on helping her husband with his physical struggles because she felt like it was giving in to the disease. God's answers are sometimes the ultimate healing and sometimes His answers to prayers are "no" to reach His own purposes for us. I so wanted to tell Jane this. But she had other issues as well. Empty nest for one. Amy was the last one to move out and be on her own. Laura was dealing quietly with alcohol addiction and Steph married and moved to Africa. So much for a once busy mother to deal with. Her kids didn't need her anymore, she had no purpose, or did she? And then trying to accept that her husband would gradually get worse and leave her alone was a hard fact to absorb.
I enjoyed getting to know all these family members. I laughed, I cried, I rejoiced with each of them. Now I need to back track and read about their earlier lives in books one and two.
I received a copy of this book from the publisher through Bookfun and was not required to write a review positive, or otherwise.
muffinHonea Path, SCAge: 45-54Gender: female5 Stars Out Of 5Interesting Read!October 30, 2016muffinHonea Path, SCAge: 45-54Gender: femaleQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5They Danced On by Carre Armstrong Gardner was a wonderful novel! This story had me hooked from the first page and continued to keep me hooked until the last page. I felt like I was living in the family and was one of the Darlings!
This is book three of the Darling Family series. I'm sure it would help to have read books one and two of the series so you could have some background information on the characters. However, I didn't read books one and two, and I had no problem keeping up with what is going on.
This novel starts with Jane Darling (the mother) and Leander (the father). The family has just found out that Leander has ALS. So they are dealing with us, along with other family issues. Laura Darling (one the sisters) doesn't live in the area like the rest of the family. She is dealing with her own issues of addiction. There is also a little twist in the story.
I was very impressed with Carre Armstrong Gardner's writing style. I had a hard time putting the book down. I am hoping to be able to read books one and two of this series. I highly recommend this book to everyone!
I received this book from bookfun for my honest opinion.
NancyKansasAge: 55-65Gender: female5 Stars Out Of 5Good bookOctober 29, 2016NancyKansasAge: 55-65Gender: femaleQuality: 0Value: 0Meets Expectations: 0This is the first book I've read by Ms. Gardner and I found it to be a very good read. Jane Darling's life has been spent raising her children and she is looking forward to enjoying life with her husband, children, and grandchildren. But when her husband becomes very ill, she is challenged in many ways and begins to realize that life doesn't always turn out the way she's dreamed.
I received this book through TBCN in return for my honest review.
AnnelrBrighton, MIAge: Over 65Gender: female5 Stars Out Of 5A family's celebration of lifeOctober 1, 2016AnnelrBrighton, MIAge: Over 65Gender: femaleQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5They Danced On by Carre Armstrong Gardner is a wonderful book of hope no matter what the circumstances. Apparently a third and final book in the Darling Family series, it is easily a stand alone novel. Jane and Leander face a bleak future...Leander with seeming courage despite fear and Jane with a strong faith that seems to be failing her. Jane is one who never liked change. But now with the children grown and on their own and a past that is rearing its ugly head, she is looking for meaning in her life. The author writes well of several difficult issues throughout the book--alcoholism, impending death, the angst of raising children--and has realistically depicted the issues and rawness of emotions that surround these all too real life problems. The thread of faith throughout the story reinforces the truth that God is never late, and that we have to accept His answers with grace even it the answer is 'no'. They Danced On is an encouraging story of a family who finds grace and hope.
I received a copy of this book through The Book Club Network in exchange for my honest review.