I discovered Dancing in the Shadows of Love on Hilary’s site Positive Letters and entered to win a copy of the book from the author. My number came up and very quickly a copy of the book came to my mail box. I had enjoyed Hilary’s post and the information sharing about Africa that accompanied the material about the book and author. I was anticipating a very interesting read and I was not disappointed.
Croome’s book is about 3 fictional women who all come together in an old seaport city on the ocean in Africa. The author grew up in Africa and lives there still, so I am sure that many of the concepts came from her life. The women have very interesting backgrounds and their childhoods are explored and how they came together all searching for love and using various pathways to overcome their tribulations. In the beginning of the story the women all felt tribal and of color as the story progressed I was not so certain of their ethnicity but the language and descriptions made them seem still tribal.
The described religion was extremely traditional and old and not very useful in assisting the women to think or make changes in their lives. I thought they would need to reject it to find themselves and love who they were. My friend asked if there were Angels in the story from my description and I would say I was not sure – maybe more a benevolent magician or two.
It took me three starts to find comfort in the word usage; to discover the flow of the conversations and the idea that was being explored. I think most USA readers would find that the cultural context of being of a tribe would seem foreign for those of us reared in chronic individualism. It was worth the effort.
Croome is a good story teller and I was so pleased to have had an opportunity to read her first book and explore some old ideas in a new cultural context. I was reminded of the delight my 4th grader’s book group experienced when they read stories from other countries, and expanded their world view. It made for a great discussion.
I belong to two book groups right now and I think one would enjoy the book and the other would not want to even read it. It is not a fast paced book and there are many rather poetic passages of detail.
A good sit by the fire winter’s read and I think a good discussion starter. I would have allowed my high school daughters to read this book with the promise of discussing some of the sexual issues which are part of the story.
I am enjoying following Judy Croome on Facebook and here are the ways to connect with her:
Facebook: Judy Croome
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Library Thing: Judy Croome
LinkedIn: Judy Croome
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