Title: I Hope You Dance
Author: Beth Moran
Publisher: Lion Fiction
My rating is 4 stars.
I Hope You Dance is a story where characters are not perfect, and there was a mysterious feeling in the air as I read the book. The Hendersons are a fictional family that definitely has very lifelike qualities and four sisters each having their own quirks. The parents have been married almost 50 years though right now they have hit a very rough patch in the marital journey. The youngest daughter, Ruth, was a teenage mom who lived with her partner until he was killed in a car accident. Now Ruth along with her daughter Maggie have to return to her parents’ home because Ruth’s partner left no money, will, or insurance and a huge amount of debt.
As I progressed further into the novel set in England, I was wondering where or if the gospel message would be a part of the book. What I loved most was that the people who belonged to a local congregation were very unique. The church had five or six women who met in their homes, taking turns in hosting their gatherings. The women were transparent and vulnerable, sharing their deepest heartaches with the rule that nothing said in the group was shared with anyone outside even if they went to their church. The women shared their lives as they were without dressing them up or wearing masks to hide the emotions they really were dealing with in life. Laughter, food, teasing and showing love to each other also characterized the small group.
Ruth was my favorite character because she was in many ways the funny, rebellious and tell it like it is kind of a woman. Ruth was looking for love in all the wrong places with the wrong people. She wrestled with the reality of God much like real women. I wonder if there are either men or women who meet today who can be themselves, sharing whatever they need to because they feel loved, safe and not judged; they can be transparent. There were a few British words I had to look up to discover their meaning, but that’s the fun of reading a book; you learn while being entertained.
Ruth discovered how valued and loved she really was, letting go of the lies she once believed as well as all the other chains that kept her captive and feeling all alone. Will you be that safe place for someone? Will you share God’s love and grace with whomever God shows you He has for you to love on? Perhaps reading this novel will not only make you laugh, tear up, hope and restore your faith, but it might give you ideas of how to be real with others. I highly recommend it!
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