If talented new authors like Jennifer Deibel continue to be published I will never get all the books read that I would like. Another exemplary writer, Deibel’s first novel, A Dance in Donegal, caught my interest quickly and held it until the very last page.
Through the author’s powerful imagery, I walked down the paths along the shores of Ireland and saw it through the eyes of Moira for the first time. I could almost smell the peat fires and the briny air. It was easy to imagine each character as Moira interacted with them. Even the most vile of them played an important role as the story played out.
And what a story it was! It didn’t take very long to discover that the townsfolk had their own opinions about Moira’s mother yet were unwilling to share their secrets except through overheard whispers and veiled threats. Yet Moira’s gentle demeanor and kindness to others won her staunch supporters in a few friends who stood beside her, especially Sean, Brid, Colm, and Peg.
I found it encouraging to witness Moira’s journey as she discovered exactly why the Lord had brought her to Ballymann and the plans He had for her life there. Filled with both joy and sorrow, A Dance in Donegal was a beautiful illustration of how following the lead of the Holy Spirit and showing mercy and care to an enemy can bring true redemption into a life.
I cannot say enough about this wonderful book except that you just have to read it for yourself. I will be waiting impatiently for another one by this author.
I voluntarily reviewed a copy of this book provided by Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group. A favorable review was not required. All views expressed are my own.
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.
Jennifer Deibel’s debut novel delights the senses, bringing to life the sights, sounds, smells, and language of a lush country and a colorful people. Historical romance fans will embrace her with open arms.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Jennifer Deibel is a middle school teacher whose work has appeared on (in)courage, on The Better Mom, in Missions Mosaic magazine, and others. With firsthand immersive experience abroad, Jennifer writes stories that help redefine home through the lens of culture, history, and family. After nearly a decade of living in Ireland and Austria, she now lives in Arizona with her husband and their three children. You can find her online at www.jenniferdeibel.com.