Sunday, October 25, 2015

I Hope You Dance - Beth Moran

I read a lot of New Adult books, because I feel like I have a connection to the characters due to age and experience. A lot of NA books are about twenty somethings, while women's fiction and chic lit books can have a wide age range. I Hope You Dance is a book about an older woman and I feared I wouldn't get the main character, but I was more than wrong. This book is not at all what I expected it to be and I loved that about it! I have firmly reminded myself not to judge a book by its cover, or its summary (or the age of the characters.) This is a wonderful story, one that is so easy to connect with and understand the plight of every character. I enjoyed this one from start to finish and if my readers pick it up, I hope you do as well.

Rating: 4.5 stars
Published: September 2015
Many thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for providing a copy in exchange for my honest review.

Amazon Goodreads
After losing everything she knew, Ruth quits her job and takes her 14 year old daughter, Maggie, home with her to live with her parents. She's got a mountain of debt, she's without her husband, her daughter's angry, and she's only got one person on her side, her mom. With a little bit of scheming, Ruth's mom helps her pick up her life, find old and new friends, and take charge of her future. Along the way she runs into an old flame, meets a new man who is not what he seems, and gives herself a second chance.

I Hope You Dance is a story of hope, happiness, and love. Beth did an incredible job of weaving emotions into this story, from hatred and sadness to happiness and love. Ruth is a great character to read, because after dealing with a pile of bad news, and wallowing for a long time, she finds a way to help others even when she doesn't realize it. She had such heart and I loved that she was helping herself without knowing it. She gave her all to every character, giving everyone chances even when they weren't well deserved. The story itself is full of twists, turns, dark moments, and incredibly bright ones. There was a lot to this story, it definitely isn't a quick read, and at times you feel overwhelmed for Ruth, but you keep pushing. I never felt like any character was a minor character, all brought something major to the story.  Ruth's family and friends are such riots, even when bad is happening, and I enjoyed reading their interactions, especially at girls nights. It was also enjoyable to read about Ruth's mom, who has a lot more to her than given credit. It was almost like a story within a story. Yes, there were times when I shook my head, particularly at Ruth when she was being daft, but I smiled as she figured things out.

The community in this story is one that makes it a stand out novel. There's a warm church community, angry townsfolk with histories to delve into, a gaggle of young woman to gossip with, and enchanting new stories at every turn. I felt like I could see the town, the Big House, and all the eccentric characters and their unique clothing. Beth did a great job of bringing every scene to life; from awkward home encounters, pushy visits from a not-so-welcome guy, and yelling matches with her daughter, Ruth's story was like a movie right before my eyes. I can guarantee that anyone who reads this will like at least one of the minor characters and I bet you they will grow on you too. While they don't make sense apart, as a whole they come together to form a lasting bond that picks Ruth up.

I highly recommend this book and look forward to future books from Beth Moran, especially if they involve any of the characters from this book.

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