Thursday, January 9, 2014

The Dancing Master by Julie Klassen - Book Review & Blog Tour

About the book: 
Finding himself the man of the family, London dancing master Alec Valcourt moves his mother and sister to remote Devonshire, hoping to start over. But he is stunned to learn the village matriarch has prohibited all dancing, for reasons buried deep in her past.

Alec finds an unlikely ally in the matriarch's daughter. Though he's initially wary of Julia Midwinter's reckless flirtation, he comes to realize her bold exterior disguises a vulnerable soul---and hidden sorrows of her own.

Julia is quickly attracted to the handsome dancing master---a man her mother would never approve of---but she cannot imagine why Mr. Valcourt would leave London, or why he evades questions about his past. With Alec's help, can Julia uncover old secrets and restore life to her somber village . . . and to her mother's tattered heart?

Filled with mystery and romance, The Dancing Master brings to life the intriguing profession of those who taught essential social graces for ladies and gentlemen hoping to make a "good match" in Regency England.

Purchase a copy: http://ow.ly/s7Yl1

About the author: Julie Klassen loves all things Jane---Jane Eyreand Jane Austen. A graduate of the University of Illinois, Julie worked in publishing for sixteen years and now writes full time. She is a three-time Christy Award winner and a 2010 Midwest Book Award winner for Genre Fiction. Julie and her husband have two sons and live in a suburb of St. Paul, Minnesota.

Learn more about Julie at: http://julieklassen.com


My Thoughts:
This is another wonderful novel, aptly written and researched by Ms. Klassen. Delightful characters. Tantalizing scenery. True to her own unique, classic style of writing, this book immediately deposits the reader into a delightful, bygone era, reminiscent of Jane Austen and the Bronte sisters.

Filled to the brim with flawed yet lovable characters, this book was a pleasure to read. 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.

It never ceases to amaze me how Ms. Klassen can write such a great story with so many well-rounded, well-written characters without giving any of them the shaft. Each character has their own story, their own troubles, and their own victories, and yet, never do they detract from the overall plot but instead, add a depth and richness that is lacking in many other novels. This is difficult to achieve and complex, yet Ms. Klassen does so without missing a beat. This is fraught with timeless messages every person can learn from. A book of cause and effect. Consequences of actions and whom those actions could ultimately hurt. No matter what we do, we must remember that God loves and forgives, but that doesn't mean He will erase the natural consequences of our sin.

This is one novel I'd love to see in movie or TV series form.