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A Dance in Donegal by Jennifer Deibel | Book Review by Loraine Nunley #bookreview

What is this book about?

All of her life, Irish-American Moira Doherty has relished her mother’s descriptions of Ireland. When her mother dies unexpectedly in the summer of 1920, Moira decides to fulfill her mother’s wish that she become the teacher in Ballymann, her home village in Donegal, Ireland.

After an arduous voyage, Moira arrives to a new home and a new job in an ancient country. Though a few locals offer a warm welcome, others are distanced by superstition and suspicion. Rumors about Moira’s mother are unspoken in her presence but threaten to derail everything she’s journeyed to Ballymann to do. Moira must rely on the kindness of a handful of friends–and the strength of Sean, an unsettlingly handsome thatcher who keeps popping up unannounced–as she seeks to navigate a life she’d never dreamed of . . . but perhaps was meant to live.

My review:

The descriptions of Ireland within the pages of this story made me wish I could visit. There was a sweet romance mixed with a mystery about her heritage that Moira was compelled to figure out. The inspirational thread was strong throughout the story exploring the necessity of forgiveness and grace.

Moira and Sean had a sweet romance which I did enjoy but I felt that it lost some of the luster when another man was thrown into the mix for a short time. But I absolutely loved the relationship between Colm and his wife. Their love and their deep faith were very natural.

I enjoyed the beautiful descriptions and found the customs interesting, but I did get weary of the amount of language in Gaelic. There was a glossary of Gaelic terms in the back of the book but I didn’t see that until I finished the story. 🙁

While I wasn’t able to connect with the main characters, I did find some moments within the story that grabbed at my emotions.

What I enjoyed most about this book:

The relationship between Colm and his wife.

What I didn’t like about this book:

There were too many times when I felt like nothing was happening.

Would I recommend this book to others? Yes. If you like a heavy spiritual thread, great descriptions, and more than a fair share of non-English terminology, this might be for you. There were some moments in the story that were quite gripping. This is a standalone story.

Note: I received this book complimentary as a participant in the Revell blog tour. I was not required to give a positive review. All of the opinions I have expressed here are my own.

Where can I learn more about this author and their books?

Jennifer Deibel, author website

-Loraine Nunley

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