THE UNFOLDING OF EACH CHARACTER IS FULL OF SURPRISE, INTRIGUE, BRILLIANTLY WRITTEN BY BARBARA FRANCES. THOUGH SET IN THE PAST, AWARD-WINNING NOVEL - LIKE I USED TO DANCE WEAVES TOGETHER MANY CONTROVERSIAL IDEAS THAT WILL MAKE A READER THINK
"Our kids, my, my, Gracie, where did we go wrong? One marries God, another a Jew, and the last one, the devil!"
Texas, 1951. The Wolanskys—Grace, Bud and their three grown children—are a close-knit clan, deeply rooted in their rural community and traditional faith. On their orderly farm, life seems good and tomorrow always holds promise.
But under the surface, it’s a different story. Grace is beset by dark memories and nameless fears that she keeps secret even from Bud. Their son Andy has said no to becoming a farmer like his dad and, worse, fallen in love with a big-city Jewish girl. Youngest child Regina is trapped in a loveless marriage to an abusive, alcoholic husband. Even “perfect” daughter Angela’s decision to become a nun takes an unforeseen turn.
And then Ceil Dollard breezes into town.
Ceil—wealthy, sophisticated, irrepressible—is like a visitor from Mars. She’s a modern woman. She drives a car and wears pants. She blows away tradition and certainty, forcing Grace to face her fears and brave a changing world. Through Ceil, Grace learns about courage and freedom—but at the risk of losing Bud.
Barbara Frances’ sparkling, richly human novel takes you back to a time when Ike was president and life was slower, but people were the same as now. You’ll encounter a cast of characters storm-tossed by change, held together by love. Written with compassion, humor and suspense, Like I Used to Dance will charm you, warm you and even squeeze a few tears, from it opening number to the last waltz.
5.0 out of 5 stars Enjoy this Texas treat !
Ms. Frances has given us a rare treat. She writes of people and places she knows well....their traditions, their culture, their pleasures and their pains. We come to care very much for these characters and follow their interwoven stories, eager to learn how their struggles are resolved. Ms. Frances infuses her story with her special kind of humor while, at the same time, tugging on our heart strings as her characters, even the less likable ones, strive to overcome their unique challenges. You can feel the hot Texas sun, see the parched landscape, smell the barbecue in the air, because this writer knows and loves her setting. Better set aside time to enjoy this page-turner. It's a real pleasure! What's next Ms. Frances?
M. M. Bishop Award-winning author and poet
5.0 out of 5 stars WILL SURELY BECOME ONE OF THE CLASSICS IN LITERATURE
It is easy to see how Like I Used To Dance by Barbara Frances won awards. It is a novel that should easily find its way into classic literature. It is not just the story of the Wolanskys, who live in a small farming town in the nineteen-fifty’s, but the story of life, and how even generations of family issues can affect each new generation unless something happens to break the cycle.
Ms. Frances paints a picture of each character, their weaknesses, as well as the strength in their character. From Grace, and Bud, their three grown children, to neighbors, and friends, each is drawn with a fine pencil, fully formed, and genuine, some are people you wish you knew, and others you would like to string up. Yet, each is so well crafted as to be able to see them in your life, or town.
Whether she is painting the generous nature of Bud, to the horror of Billy Ray, Ms. Frances brings us a full picture of life as it was, and life as it still is. Many things may have changed in our world, underneath there is still an underbelly of both the beauty and ugliness of human nature.
Like I Used To Dance was not a book that I could easily put down, but sat up till the wee hours of the morning reading.
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