Monday, September 12, 2016

One of the best books I have ever read...

I hope everyone has had an amazing summer!! My deepest condolences to those of you who have started school again...

My summer was alright. I read several really good books. One of those in particular has stood out to me. Not only is it the best book I read this summer, but it is also one of the books I have EVER read!! It's one of those books that is going to stick with me for a while. I keep thinking about it. I haven't begun to read a new book since finishing it. I haven't even put it back on the shelf yet. I just keep moving it from my desk to my nightstand. And I'm just aching to talk about it...

Where I received this book and what my interest in it is:

The title of the book is The Dancing Master written by Julie Klassen. I first became interested in the book when I went to the bookstore for my 21st birthday. I know what you're thinking, that I'm like, the coolest 21-year-old out there. :D
At first, it was just the cover that caught my eye, sad to say. The colors (green, which is my favorite color), the fact that it looked like a romance novel, AND the title (which sounded magical to me) all struck me as the kind of book I would enjoy reading. Anyway, at the time, I wasn't able to purchase The Dancing Master for uh, reasons.
In January of this year, my sister wanted to go to the bookstore to purchase The Phantom Of The Opera. I can't go into a bookstore and not purchase something, I mean I'm only human. Obviously, I bought it. January 29th, 2016. Don't ask me why I remember the exact date.

Type of book:

Regency/Historical Fiction / Christian Fiction

Ideas expressed/message and/or plot:

Though The Dancing Master is told in the 3rd person point of view, it switches every so often from being told from Julia Midwinter's perspective, to Alec Valcourt's perspective, and to Lady Amalia Midwinter's as well.
Alec Valcourt was a renowned dancing master in London. After an unfortunate incident, he takes his sister and mother and moves to Beaworthy, Devonshire, England to live with his uncle. Alec soon learns that the matriarch, Lady Amelia, has prohibited all dancing.
Julia Midwinter and her mother, Lady Amelia do not have the best relationship with one another. Julia is somewhat reckless, extremely defensive, and a dangerous flirt. Her mother is the exact opposite.
Though Lady Amelia is clearly not fond of Alec nor his former profession, she eventually hires him to work for her as clerk, warning him to stay away from her daughter Julia because he is not her social equal. Of course, a romance of sorts begins to form between Alec and Julia, even though she is expected to marry another.
Alec begins teaching a few private dancing lessons with the hope to open a dancing academy in Beaworthy. He is soon dismissed from working for Lady Amelia after she uncovers secrets about his past and why he and his family left London.
Lady Amelia, though elegant and refined, seems very bitter and unhappy. Though much of the seemingly quiet and uneventful town of Beaworthy circles around Lady Amelia's past, she does not speak of it.
Julia, having grown up without the love of a father, seeks the love of any man.
Eventually, Lady Amelia and Julia realize their mistakes and wrongdoings, and come to find that God is a God of forgiveness, love and grace.
The focus of the book was hardly just a romance story about Alec and Julia. It had many stories awaiting to unfold by the end of the book.


I'm not going to give anything away that's too drastic, but if you don't want a tiny spoiler, then skip down to the next section. XD
I have nothing negative to say about The Dancing Master. However, the end left me wondering about a few things. While we learn the eventual outcome of our hero and heroine, I wondered how those outcomes came to be. The biggest question I had was, how did Lady Amelia come to accept Alec?? Based off the end of chapter 30, we may think everything was fine after that. But in the Epilogue, Julia tells us that her mother was still trying to get her with a more suitable man. Like I said before, I just wonder how that last event came to pass.

My favorite characters:

Alec Valcourt is my favorite by far. He's charming, funny, kind, and just seemed like a really caring person. He's really what I'd call a "perfect gentleman." Next, I pick Julia Midwinter. I really appreciated how her flirtatious and defensive exterior hid her vulnerable soul. She was a really sweet person when she let her guard down. Next I'd choose Walter Allen. He didn't have a huge part in the book, but his awkward shyness/clumsiness was fun and just added some overall lightheartedness and humor to the book. I really liked Mr. Barlow as well. 

Favorite scenes/quotes/lines:

I'm not going to say every scene I liked for the sake of you who may not have read this book. But I think some of my absolute favorite scenes appeared in Chapter 8, Chapter 9, Chapter 14, 24, 27, 29, and 30. Not to mention every chapter in between!! :D
There were a lot of really well written lines throughout the book, but the one quote that I keep thinking about is:
"Don't allow any man to treat you less than you are." (Chapter 12).

The Dancing Master

Other books to read by Julie Klassen:
Prior to reading The Dancing Master, I didn't know who Julie Klassen was. Now I am extremely eager to read her other works as well, such as: The Tutor's Daughter, The Secret Of Pembrooke Park, The Painter's DaughterLady Of Milkweed Manor, The Apothecary's Daughter, The Silent Governess, The Girl In The Gatehouse, and The Maid Of Fairbourne Hall.

Additional Notes:

As I said before, The Dancing Master is one of the best books I have ever read. I loved the story. I loved the characters. I loved the setting. I loved the ending. I loved the genre. I especially loved the writing style. It was beautiful, passionate, and just extremely well written. The dialogue made you feel like you were living in that time era, as it felt very proper. Certain parts of the story were more intimate than so many other books I've read, and it felt really nice and refreshing.
Days after I finished the book, I began thinking that it would be kind of nice if I had a movie to watch next. I had a very serious discussion with my sister and a friend of mine about this. We put a lot of thought into it. If the novel was ever made into a movie and I couldn't have the models on the cover to play the parts, it was decided either Chris Pine or Joseph Gordon-Levitt would be able to pull off the character of Alec Valcourt, while Teresa Palmer, Julianne Hough, or Claire Julien could play the part of Julia Midwinter. Now all we need is someone to want to make the movie, and have me choose the cast. XD
Anyhow, this book felt like it was written for me. It has just about every quality in a story that I cherish. It's the kind of story I wish I could live in. Being in that world, with those people, in that society, learning how to sounds magical. I definitely rate The Dancing Master ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ out of ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ stars!!! Thank you Julie Klassen for an amazing journey, and thank YOU for reading!! ;) 

Yours truly,


P.S. click here to view the book trailer, and here to get a copy of The Dancing Master.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you so much for this wonderful, deeply touching review, Vanessa. So glad the book resonated with you and that you were able to look past Julia's exterior to see her heart and growing character beneath.