[Reading] ➷ Like I Used to Dance Author Barbara Frances – Motyourdrive.co.uk

Like I Used to Dance chapter 1 Like I Used to Dance , meaning Like I Used to Dance , genre Like I Used to Dance , book cover Like I Used to Dance , flies Like I Used to Dance , Like I Used to Dance 8347658b143f6 Our Kids, My, My, Gracie, Where Did We Go Wrong One Marries God, Another A Jew, And The Last One, The Devil Texas, 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


10 thoughts on “Like I Used to Dance

  1. says:

    This book was available to me through NetGalley I really liked the cover and the story sounded intriguing This is the review I gave as feedback Feedback for Like I Used to DanceThe beginning of Like I Used to Dance is a bit abrupt and stiff as it tries to rapidly introduce the main characters of this dramatic novel But don t give up The Wolansky family is about to reveal its juicy dynamics, which just keep coming one after the other and don t let up Simply put, the novel is a kind of guilty pleasure which is hard to put down It takes place in Texas, some time vaguely after 1949 in a rural community with class and colour distinctions that are uncomfortable to consider The Klu Klux Klan is active as a drinking group, but a renegade family wants to cause havoc with its own agenda Grace and Bud Wolansky are rigidly Catholic in their observances with their adult children Angela is about to become a nun, Andy is talented an looking at a career in architecture and Regina is barely surviving a wretched marriage to the violent man who forced himself on her as a teen and impregnated her, unable to leave because of the fear instilled by Catholicism The gifted herbalist and seer, ebony black Mayphelia lives nearby she is renowned for her midwifery, potent tonics and brews preventing pregnancy and is practically family to the Wolanskys Trouble comes with the arrival of Ciel Dollard, whose last remaining family member is dying and needs care As a girl of fifteen, Ciel ran from home to eventually become a wealthy cosmetics entrepreneur but her tragic backstory is unknown to all except her protector Mayphalia The independent spirit of Ciel sparks many passions in the little town and unearths buried talents, unconscious wishes and unspoken dreams and stirs dark forces The themes of confession and forgiveness play heavily in the story, and are responsible for an ending which might otherwise be quite inconceivable What faith means to each person rather than its dogma is explored, which would have been very liberal in that time period These are people with big loves, difficulties, significant flaws and the anticipation of better days Like I Used to Dance is not a profound story and in many ways is predictable, but it has a soap opera charm which kept me entertained However, the editing should have been much better Tense irregularities has where had should have been used , were jarring Wondering was typed where wandering belonged and devote when I believe the intention was devout Proofreading carefully was missed here I found the bold lettered THE END a bit quizzical seldom are novels finished this way and it detracted from the sweet ending This is, after all, a book, not a play with curtains closing Charm, but not quite charming.


  2. says:

    The author tried to squeeze far too many controversial topics into one book The story itself suffers under that The narration jumps from one character to another and they are all burdened with so many problems and worries and none of them is a child of their time which in itself isn t bad None of these topics to name a few abuse, domestic violence, racism, homosexuality, addiction, class society, religion, independency of women gets any deeper insight It all stays on the very surface because once touched there is just the next topic around the corner that needs to be in the book too Despite the variety of themes the story is flat ish and remains, if not predictable, quite superficial even despite the variety of controversial topics The characters are likeable but in a way not really able to let me connect with them The last third of the book has flow than the two thirds before that but nevertheless it s all this little bit too zealous to be convincing The author also loses a couple of threads in said last third, which may be a sign that a plethora of topics and branches within a story is not always the smartest decision.


  3. says:

    Like watching a 1950s movie with a happy ending Family trials and tribulations when social rules were important and a little silly A good read though, everyone carries on and life continues.


  4. says:

    The only way for me to begin my review of Like I Used to Dance by Barbara Francis is to say I loved it For me to love a book that is fiction simply based on the ups and downs of a loving family in the late 50 s in Texas is unusual I truly didn t know what to expect when I began reading Like I Used to Dance It s a long novel would I be bored would I even finish it Well, Barbara Francis had me completely hooked in the first few pages and I couldn t read it fast enough I was dying to know what would happen next to Grace and Bud and their 3 adult children, all raised as good Catholics When one daughter becomes a nun, the younger daughter marries a mean, misogynistic drunk, and their son falls for a delightful Jewish girl, their peaceful life as farmers is than a little upset It becomes even upset by the entry into their lives of Ceil, a wealthy, beautiful and generous woman with a troubled past she might never have survived if it weren t for the local black woman May May Loved by everyone, May May is feared by that rotten drunk husband who is hell bent on killing her, and he nearly succeeds, but there s no way I m going to be a spoiler here and tell you any You just have to read Like I Used to Dance and find out for yourself The author, Barbara Francis offers liberal minded readers everything they crave suspense, violence, evil, sex never explicit and tons of good That timeless theme of good conquering evil propels the novel to satisfying conclusions, though some may question the likelihood of certain situations presented But if I had to nail what most riveted me to this story, it would be the questions Barbara raises, through her characters, about being born, bred and raised into religions that we live by despite our questions and doubts Grace, along with her two daughters, and thanks to Ceil, is troubled by the blind adherence to tenets drummed into us since we were infants These three women ask themselves questions I asked myself as a child and later as a teen They, like me, find themselves being freed as they reach answers their religious upbringing would deem sinful And in finding those answers, they find their real selves And that self is a far honest one of whom they can be proud Like I Used to Dance by Barbara Francis could almost be described as a coming of age book for the bulk of the characters in the story And there are many of them Too often for me, a large number of characters in a novel is a turn off I hate struggling to remember who is who But this doesn t happen under the skillful pen of Barbara Francis She knows where she s going with this story, its events, its issues and its characters and we, the readers enjoy every part of the journey A 5 star book all the way, I highly recommend Like I Used to Dance and I look forward to reading Barbara Francis next book I hope she won t keep me waiting too long Viga BolandNo Tears for My Father A true story of incest


  5. says:

    Like I Used To DanceBarbara FrancesLIKE I USED TO DANCE by Barbara Frances was one heck of a crazy ride It takes place in a small town in Texas in the 1950 s The characters are very interesting, quite the oddball mix, and held my attention throughout the story LIKE I USED TO DANCE is a total page turner and once I started I couldn t stop Barbara Frances captures your heart from the very first page and never lets it go Bud and Grace are the main characters along with their three children who live on a farm After they grow up and move away their lives go in very different directions all the while staying close to their parents One is in an abusive marriage, one is studying to become a nun and the last one is going to marry outside his faith How can you not get caught up in all their lives Everything you can possibly think of happening to these people, does and at times your heart will be shattered.Barbara Frances takes her time introducing you to each of the characters and their problems and how they are feeling I immediately felt as if I knew them all and was right there at the kitchen table hashing things out In no time, I was totally sucked in to their lives and the issues they were dealing with The plot is very interesting and had me turning the pages late into the night I have never heard or read this author before but after reading LIKE I USED TO DANCE I m looking forward to reading Barbara Frances future stories Be prepared not to do anything else once you start reading this heartbreaking and hopeful tale I found myself thinking about all of these wonderful characters long after I finished reading.


  6. says:

    It s a very interesting book, a brilliant family saga rich of emotions set in Texas in the 1950 s.Grace and Bud have a happy marriage and two wonderful daughters and an amazing son, a simple life in a small rural town As children get older, life becomes complicated and not always the parents share their choices A daughter wants to become a nun and her sister would like to divorce an abusive husband but she is grew up in a Catholic family The son is about to marry a Jewish girl When in town comes Ceil, their life is completely changed She is an independent woman, modern and Grace is dragging with her and away from Bud.This was a wonderfully written romance which I enjoyed very much It was really enjoyable to discover the traditions, the culture, the life of every day in a quiet Texas town in those years The descriptions are so bright, vivid that it seems to be really there, warmed by the hot Texas sun The style is simple, very engaging, often rich of humor The plot is well developed, the stories of the various characters are perfectly woven A real treat.I recommend it to those who love romance and family sagas


  7. says:

    Beautifully written by my wife, BarbaraI won t hide the fact that the author is my wife or how extremely proud I am that she can write something so moving and touching I spent my high school years in the fifties, and it was a different time Unlike Barbara, I m a city boy, but I still remember many stories, and she has captured the emotional and physical turmoil that often accompanies family life then and even today.I don t know what qualifies as a saga but for me Like I Used To Dance is a page turner family saga that captures you from the first page and never lets you go As a writer I only wish my writing could come close to Barbara s Read Like I Used To Dance because it would be a real loss if you miss the opportunity to read a great novel.


  8. says:

    I won t hide the fact that the author is my wife or how extremely proud I am that she can write something so moving and touching I spent my high school years in the fifties, and it was a different time Unlike Barbara, I m a city boy, but I still remember many stories, and she has captured the emotional and physical turmoil that often accompanies family life then and even today.I don t know what qualifies as a saga but for me Like I Used To Dance is a page turner family saga that captures you from the first page and never lets you go As a writer I only wish my writing could come close to Barbara s Read Like I Used To Dance because it would be a real loss if you miss the opportunity to read a great novel.Bill Benitez


  9. says:

    I tried hard to finish this book I received it from NetGalley in return for an honest review Parts were great, others were oddly weird and I gave up after reading 70% of the book


  10. says:

    Thank you to NetGalley for an advance copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.SPOILER ALERT I can t really write a review without discussing some of the outcomes of this book, so read it first, make up your own mind, and come back later to read my opinion.This is the story of two devout Catholics, Bud and Grace, their three children and other assorted characters It takes place in a small farming community in 1950 s Texas, and anything and everything is included in the tale To sum it up, Bud explains it thusly, Our kids, my, my, Gracie, where did we go wrong One marries God, another a Jew, and the last one, the devil The main theme of the book is the path each takes to find happiness.The character development is good, and you feel as if you know each character and care, or not, about what happens to them There are so many social issues, one after the other, that it almost became overwhelming alcoholism, rape including that of a developmentally disabled man , murder, racism, domestic abuse, infidelity, miscarriage, depression, homosexuality and how about a little voodoo while we re at it It would have been good as a dramatic soap opera but, unfortunately, the book also attempts to cross over into the difficult realm of religion and its dogma The book relies to a great degree on Catholic themes of confession, penance and forgiveness, which was quite heavy handed against the Church at times Unfortunately, the conflict between self and Catholicism specifically and organized religion in general was never fully explored Instead, everything gets tidily wrapped up and everyone happily moves on.It didn t ring true to me as 1950 s Texas would be much less liberal than today s society and tolerance of other s behaviors would have been much harder to accept I am specifically referring to Bud s acceptance of his wife s lesbian relationship After a night of drinking, he decides that it has enriched their lives by making her a better person aware of her body and herself, and he is happy once again She decides it makes her a better wife because she is aware of her body as well as being independent, and she is happy once again So simplistic I would have thought the guilt such a devout Catholic would have felt would have been profound and not so easily explained away by Grace, and a wife s infidelity so significant to not be so easily accepted by Bud In another instance, Regina feels guilt about the relief her abusive husband s near death brings She also feels guilt about his eventual real death but, hey, it s okay because she found another man and is happy In the same manner, Angela sleeps with her boyfriend days before entering the convent and keeps those memories as something sweet that God wouldn t frown upon While that may be, in the context of entering the convent it seems disingenuous The book does touch briefly on each person s inner struggle, but the self serving behavior is presented as justified, so everyone s happy I would have liked the book much if the author had not brought religion into the mix The story was big enough to stand on its own, and bringing religion into the mix only muddled the story.https candysplanet.wordpress.com


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