From Julie, “LONG DANCE HOME is a complete rewrite of my first novel. The plot is similar, but the depth of the story is much greater. It took many months of hard work for me to revise a novel I hadn’t looked at in several years, but the result is even better than I’d hoped. In this version, I introduce new characters, new subplots, and a new future for Cece, my main character. We delve deeply into her emotional wounds and misbeliefs, forcing her to accept, forgive, and move forward. Between these pages you will find a heartwarming and heart-wrenching story, a cast of characters you’ll want to hang out with, and a small town you’ll wish you could visit.”
The most important thing I look for when reviewing a book is whether or not it does what a book in that genre is supposed to do. Was the thriller a suspense ride? Was the epic series all consuming? Was the holiday romance a wonderfully, heartwarming experience worthy of being a Hallmark made-for-tv movie? Long Dance Home by Julie Mayerson Brown hits all the right buttons in all the right ways.
I haven’t read the original version so I’m not sure how it compares but I totally enjoyed this classic tale of finding happiness and love after all your well-constructed plans are shattered. Julie choreographs Cece’s longing for a future happiness to fill the void her shattered dream has left in her heart around the classic Christmas production, The Nutcracker. The behind the scenes action of preparing and rehearsing for a dance performance is a wonderful foil to the Cece’s unfolding story.
Cece’s is a truly likable and relate-able character who has to come to terms with her decision to walk away from a dance career and her need to have her life planned out to the minute. When choices cause these two elements of her life to collide, fate brings resolution in such unexpected ways. Her dilemma between the boyfriend she loves, but who does not have the same relationship goals so they end up breaking up, and “Mr. Sticky buns”, the stranger whose chance meeting at the coffee shop initiates a budding romance, provides a roller coaster of emotions that will have you rooting for both men at one point or another. Ultimately, it’s her resolve to follow her own passion for the dance, that she tragically gave up in her prime, that gives her heart clarity.
Julie writes with great clarity, feeling and humor that you will forget that you are reading a book. Take time this holiday season to enjoy Long Dance Home.