mary's book basket ~ "the dance" by gary smalley and dan walsh...

"The Dance" written by Gary Smalley and Dan Walsh, is not your typical inspirational fiction novel. It is more like a marriage retreat wrapped up in a beautiful story of redemption and forgiveness. The first in The Restoration Series, the novel examines the twenty-seven year marriage of Jim and Marilyn Anderson.

Here is the book description from Amazon:
Jim Anderson is a successful businessman, and his wife, Marilyn, is the perfect wife. And why wouldn't she be? He gives her everything she needs. That's why Jim never expected to come home one day and find Marilyn gone.

After 27 years of marriage, Marilyn has had enough of feeling unloved and neglected. She wants to experience some measure of happiness before she's too old to enjoy it, even signing up for dance lessons, something Jim would never do. What will it take for Jim to finally become the man Marilyn needs him to be?

Combining the literary talents of bestselling author Dan Walsh and the relationship expertise of bestselling author Gary Smalley, The Dance is the first novel in The Restoration Series. Readers will get caught up in these flawed but sincere members of the Anderson family as they rediscover genuine love and start a transformation that ultimately affects all of them.

I was intrigued by the story written by two well known Christian authors. Smalley is a well renowned Christian family counselor and author. Walsh an inspiration fiction author. Their plot line drew me in since I  know so many couples that struggle with their relationship once the nest is empty. This book takes an in depth look at what happens when Marilyn Anderson makes a bold choice and decides to leave her husband after twenty-seven years of a "perfect" marriage, at least from the outside. She decides that enough is enough and is tired of being taken for granted by her work-a-holic and image obsessed husband.

She leaves and Jim's world falls apart. Through the course of the novel dancing is used as a way for the two of them to work out their individual feelings and figure out what needs to change in order for their marriage to once again be healthy and happy.

 I have to say I really enjoyed this book. The plot is a simple one but the emotional depth of the story as well as the character development kept me reading. I loved the supporting cast of  characters that provided some levity during the darker turning points of the novel. I also appreciated the non preachy tone of the book.

I learned a few things along the way. You can't change anyone but yourself and in the end you need to trust in the plan that God has laid out for you and your marriage. Finally, never give up. The darkest time is always before the dawn.

This book is published by Revell Publishing and available form your local on-line retailers as well as brick and mortar stores.  I received a free copy of the book for this review but my opinions are my own.

I look forward to the next novel in this series, as the authors follow the Anderson family through more good times and bad.

I give this book:
3 cupcakes - I enjoyed the book and learned something and you might like it too!