I was definitely in a slump when The Dancing Master showed up in my mail box. I was reading new authors (I should clarify, new to me), different genres, but everything was…bleh. I started thinking I was coming down with something. But you know, sometimes you just don’t connect with books. But Klassen’s novels never disappoint, so I was excited to see it in the mail! Her latest takes you back into the wonderful and intriguing Regency England.
Finding himself the man of the family, London dancing master Alec Valcourt moves his mother and sister to remote Devonshire, hoping to start over. But he is stunned to learn the village matriarch has prohibited all dancing, for reasons buried deep in her past.
Alec finds an unlikely ally in the matriarch’s daughter. Though he’s initially wary of Julia Midwinter’s reckless flirtation, he comes to realize her bold exterior disguises a vulnerable soul–and hidden sorrows of her own.
Julia is quickly attracted to the handsome dancing master–a man her mother would never approve of–but she cannot imagine why Mr. Valcourt would leave London, or why he evades questions about his past. With Alec’s help, can Julia uncover old secrets and restore life to her somber village…and to her mother’s tattered heart?
Filled with mystery and romance, The Dancing Master brings to life the intriguing profession of those who taught essential social graces for ladies and gentlemen hoping to make a “good match” in Regency England.
A world without dancing? Yo no comprendo. I dance by myself at stop lights, so that’s a new kind of devilry to me. Yet, for quiet Devonshire, that’s exactly the case. It took me a few pages to get into, but once I did – I couldn’t stop reading (classic Klassen).
There were twists I didn’t see coming (I thought I had things all figured out, but I didn’t.) and plenty of mystery to go around. And you know what? You think today has scandal?? Let’s just say people 200 years ago loved them some secrets and scandal just as much (maybe even more :).
Not only was this another enjoyable read for all Austen fans, but it was a peek into an aspect of the culture I knew very little of. It’s a lesson in the consequences of our actions as well as the beauty of forgiveness. While it wasn’t my favorite Klassen novel (it’s hard to beat The Maid of Fairbourne Hall), I still really enjoyed it and recommend it!
And let’s just say the dancing of today is a tad different than back then.
What do y’all think of this one? Or if you haven’t read it yet what’s one of your favorite Klassen novels?
(Thank you Litfuse and Bethany House for the advanced reader copy. I received a free copy in exchange for my honest review.)
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