Thursday, 26 May 2022

S SR Perspective

The Dancing Master

The Dancing Master

Julie Klassen


About the Author

About the AuthorThree-time Christy Award winner Julie Klassen loves all things Jane--Jane Eyre and Jane Austen. A graduate of the University of Illinois, Julie worked in publishing for sixteen years and now writes full time. She and her husband have two sons and live in St. Paul, Minnesota.


Just Sayin….

By Barb Shelton


It seems to me that there are various kinds of dancing in this story by Julie Klassen.  Many of the characters in Beaworthy are “dancing around” issues that need to be revealed, but kept secret.  The character displaying the dominant leader in this dance is Lady Amelia Midwinter who due to some mysterious reason has banned dancing from the village of Beaworthy.  This woman is rich in money, power and property; however quite impoverished from kindness and consideration in her heart. It was no wonder that her daughter, Julie was a mini-Amelia in her own sense.  The emotional historical circumstances regarding these women lend credibility to why they lack in faith, love and depth of character.

This writing of Ms.Klassen did not have the usual eloquent luster normally glowing brightly in her previous novels I have read.  She is a master writer of the Regency era and seemed to tire of her story in spots before she reached its final conclusion.  When I saw the beautiful cover of The Dancing Master, I eagerly began this read with expectation of personally relating to dance, having been trained as a performer in this enchanting art while young – it still fascinates me.  However, at my age, the interest hasn’t waned, but the attempt to dance one step is precarious!

Handsome Alec Valcourt, was a true dance and fencing master of the third generation in his family.  Family tragedy through scandalous activity caused the disappearance of his father and left the family dancing school in ruins.  Alec moved his mother and sister to Beaworthy to live with his uncle and the hope of finding employment in the Devonshire area.  We meet other characters in this story that provide personality and wit.  The author has provided many entertaining details to keep the mystery and romance alive.  However, by the conclusion of the book, I felt unsettled for the lack of completion in some areas.  It was difficult to remember who some of the characters were because of long periods of not learning more about them.  Of course, I might add that the weaknesses Julie Klassen wrote into her characters are realistic and very human.  There are transformations in hearts, and I especially liked Julie’s subtle scenes showing God’s grace and love through salvation in Christ.  Of course, some of the characters were church goers, but they didn’t behave in a Christian manner on a daily basis.  I did enjoy and was amused with the animals Julie created. 

There are some redeeming qualities in Ms. Klassen’s The Dancing Master; however I enjoyed The Apothecary’s Daughter, The Girl in the Gatehouse and The Tutor's Daughter more.  This review will not end my admiration or enthusiastic following of Julie Klassen as I will certainly be looking forward to her next novel.  God is not finished with what she can create next.


Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Litfuse Publicity Group. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

Columnist: Barb Shelton





Now widowed, Barb was married 40 years to Jack Shelton, a retired military officer, as well as a retired executive director of Love Field in Dallas, Texas.  Barb and Jack shared eight children between them, (His, Mine, Ours): 19 grandchildren and 14 great-grandchildren.  Barb was born and raised in Enterprise, Kansas. She is musically inclined and is a retired church music director. A former Weight Watcher lecturer, she has had many interesting and unusual jobs, including working for a private detective, defense attorney, office manager for a video production company and administrative assistant to two different pastors. She is involved in volunteer and church activities, and describes herself as creative, friendly and can talk with anyone. "I am a Christian and love to spread God's love and enjoy making others smile and lift up their day." 

Barb is a Certified Lay Speaker and Lay Leader of her congregation at the United Methodist Church of the Covenant in Arlington, TX, where she sings with the same choir she directed over 30 years ago!  She wishes to write a book one day. "I've been through several soap operas in my lifetime and lived to tell about them."

Barb is the writer of two blogs, Passing it Forward and Blessed by Grace, both of which she invites you to drop by to visit one day.



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