THE DANCE
by Dan Walsh, Gary Smalley

April 2013
ISBN: 978-0-8007-2148-0
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Trade Paperback
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After 27 years of marriage, Marilyn Anderson is tired of playing the role of perfect wife. Her husband Jim is a successful businessman who gives her everything she needs--a beautiful home in an upscale neighborhood, the financial freedom to be a stay-at-home mom, an enviable collection of stuff. Everything, that is, except what really matters: love.


After years of trying to connect with Jim, Marilyn has had enough. She longs to experience some measure of happiness before she's too old to enjoy it. Needing some time to herself to sort things out, Marilyn leaves to start a new job and take dancing lessons--something she has wanted to do for as long as she can remember.


Shocked to find his wife gone, Jim Anderson must sort through the past to save his marriage. With a little help from an unexpected ally, he begins a campaign to win Marilyn back. What he doesn't anticipate is how his actions will affect everyone around him--starting with himself.


The Dance is the first book written by the Walsh/Smalley Duet and it is good, but not as stellar as what Iíve come to expect from Walsh. The book has a lot of telling in it. And as a student of writing and what makes it good, I couldnít turn my internal editor off long enough to thoroughly enjoy it. I was rewording sentences as I read them to make them less telling.


The plot line Ė as you can see above. Jim is all about Jim. Marilyn was only there to make his life easier. Who cares what she wanted? He certainly didnít. So, despite warnings over the years, Jim was totally shocked to find out she left him. Even then, it was all about him. How dare she inconvenience him this way? He has to hire a maid to do his wifeís job. He is losing clients due to his wife not dressing him appropriately, or because she isnít there.


Dan Walsh is a great author, really. Despite the telling, I cared for Marilyn and Jim and their kids. I loved some of the secondary characters. And I read through the book in an afternoon. Some good lessons to be learned in the book. Recommended.


Reviewed in March 2014 by Laura.