Tuesday, April 30, 2013

The Dance by Dan Walsh and Gary Smalley

Cover Art
Walsh, Dan and Gary Smalley. The Dance (The Restoration Series #1) Grand Rapids: Revell, 2013.

ISBN 978-0-8007-2148-0 (pbk)

Marilyn Anderson leaves her husband after twenty-seven years of Christian marriage. She moves from her large beautiful home in an immaculate residential area of River Oaks. Marilyn now lives in a small two-bedroom apartment with a new friend. She has taken a job in a small specialty gift shop in the quaint downtown area. She feels freedom and is happier than she has been since she and Jim have begun to experience an empty nest.

For the first time in their married life, her husband, Jim, comes home from work to find no dinner waiting, no wife to greet him, and no clue there was ever a problem. Jim calls their high-school son Doug, and then their married son Tom. Neither son has any idea where his mother is nor that anything is wrong. Even his daughter Michele, who is to be married in a month, will tell him anything more than there is a note from her mother on his dresser. 

What is Marilyn's problem? She has never had to work. She has a beautiful home in an upscale neighborhood. Her husband is prosperous enough to provide all that and more. All he has ever asked is that meals be served on time, she accompany him to an upscale church where he can make business connections, provide parties for his clients... He is clueless.

Marilyn meets with her daughter to discuss the wedding guest list over lunch. Marilyn shows Michele a gift she has bought just for herself. They meet Audrey Windsor who admires Marilyn’s new music box with a dancer on the top. Audrey extends a business card with an invitation to stop by her  dance studio and to sign up for a dance class. One more thing Marilyn never thought she would do. Marilyn realizes her unhappiness may have started when Jim refused to dance with her on their wedding night. 

The dance becomes the metaphor. Both Jim and Marilyn need to waltz with one another in such away  that they create a place of safety for one another. Each of them always must treat their relationship as partners in a dance that overcomes each of their core fears.

How will God heal Jim’s and Marilyn’s broken lives? Whom will God choose to help mend Marilyn’s shattered dreams? Is their family broken beyond repair? Where did the love in Jim and Marilyn’s marriage go? Can it be renewed, or does that only happen in a new relationship like Michele and Allan’s.

Dan WalshOnce again Dan Walsh creates a tender romance in which God sets in motion a plan to redeem lives and restore hearts. Walsh’s newest novel The Dance introduces The Restoration Series. The Dance is based largely on Gary Smalley’s best-selling book on marriage relationships, The DNA of Relationships (Smalley Franchise Products), by Gary Smalley, Greg Smalley, Michael Smalley and Robert S. Paul (Sep 1, 2007).

Gary SmalleyReaders will be looking forward to other books in this series by two godly men who believe and live God’s plans for their marriages in spite of themselves, and share them with each other and with us, as pastors, counselors, and gifted writers.

I thank the authors and Revell Publishing for providing a free copy of this book for my unbiased opinion.

5 stars

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