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A Dance in Donegal de Jennifer Deibel
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A Dance in Donegal (edició 2021)

de Jennifer Deibel (Autor)

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I suppose there is a place for faith based books but I've never been a fan of romances and a romance sprinkled with references to scriptures and the Lord's will is just not my style. On the plus side this book is set in Ireland and a lot of the characters speak with an Irish brogue that is quite charming.

Moira Doherty moves to Ballymann, County Donegal, Ireland from Boston after her mother dies. Her mother grew up in Ballymann and it was her wish that Moira would go there. Before she died she arranged for Moira to take the teaching position at the village school. When Moira arrives in Ballymann she finds that not everyone welcomes her. An old man she encounters her first morning frightens her and then one of her students, Aedeach, threatens to disclose her secret. Thankfully some of the locals seem to feel kindly to her. In particular Sean McFadden, a thatcher, looks out for her and Moira finds him very handsome. Aedeach misses school for a week so Moira goes to find out why he is not attending classes. She finds him in a cold, stinking, ramshackle hovel with a racking cough and a high fever. After deliberating overnight she decides to nurse him and Peg, wife of Sean's employer Colm, accompanies her. It appears that Aedeach has the Spanish flu which rampaged through Donegal a few years before. The rest of the village, including all of her students, refuse to come close to Moira. She also hears rumours that her mother may have become pregnant while working at the local manor and some people obviously believe those rumours. However Moira is certain that she is doing the Lord's work and she is also certain that her mother was blameless. Eventually the truth comes out and Moira is accepted by everyone and she and Sean have a dance during which he proposes. ( )
  gypsysmom | Jul 31, 2021 |
Title: A Dance in Donegal
Author: Jennifer Deibel
Pages: 352
Year: 2021
Publisher: Revell
My rating: 5 out of 5 stars.
If you like stories set in Ireland that have the flavor of the Gaelic language, with a touch of romance and a flair of mystery, here is the book to read. The novel is a debut by author Jennifer Deibel who has herself been immersed in the Irish culture shares the richness of the Emerald Island through this tale.
The lead character is a young woman currently living in Boston with her mother; her name is Moira Doherty. Moira’s mother has been sharing stories of Ireland for all of Moira’s life. They stirred in her heart the desire to go there someday. Well, for Moira that day has arrived. After losing her mother and not sure what she is to do, she senses the Lord telling her to go forward with her plans. With her head filled with stories of her mother’s homeland along with the ache of her mother’s death, Moira steps into her future. From the moment she lands on the island, she encounters a different language with some very different customs and beliefs. Moira is welcomed into her temporary place of residence as she acclimates to the area in preparation to teach the children of the town’s school.
Throughout the book there is something in Moira’s past that she is unaware of, but all the people in town seem to know and look at her with questioning eyes. Moira is a young woman with hopes to understand what has drawn her to the very town her mother grew up in and what secret lies in her mother’s life that is impacting Moira’s life now. Moira is befriended by most of the local town’s people though she has a few of them who are threatening her with revealing her secret, the secret Moira doesn’t know.
The climax in the book is well written and comes with such heart-pounding force I couldn’t help but continue reading to see how it would be resolved. The book started out slow for me but quickly progressed as I was drawn into the mystery of what lay behind Moira’s life. The author has another Irish romance novel forthcoming, and a teaser is included in the back of the book. I look forward to her next book that I hope includes the flavors of faith, romance and a touch of mystery.
Note: The opinions shared in this review are solely my responsibility. ( )
  lamb521 | Apr 30, 2021 |
I love reading about the Emerald Isle and A Dance in Donegal is an enjoyable new book that indulges my fascination with Ireland. After her mother's sudden death, Moira Doherty leaves Boston to accept a teaching job at Ballyman in Donegal, Ireland. Author Jennifer Deibel poignantly describes Moira's alternating feelings of sorrow, excitement, and anxiety over this sudden change in her life plans, and we also witness Moira's puzzlement upon meeting some of the residents after her arrival. Why would these strangers be suspicious of someone they don't even know?

This is Deibel's debut novel and her lyrical words paint a beautful picture of a small fictional village as it might have been in 1920. Gaelic words and references to Irish customs add to the book's authenticity, and mystery and romance help to increase its appeal. If you enjoy historical fiction with intriguing characters and a strong faith element, you will want to add A Dance in Donegal to your TBR list!

I received a complimentary copy from the author and publisher. There was no obligation for a positive review and these are my honest thoughts. ( )
  fcplcataloger | Mar 18, 2021 |
“When someone seems bent on making your life miserable, heap coals of kindness on their head.” Oh how I wish this motto rang true throughout the story of A Dance in Donegal by Jennifer Deibel.

Deibel transported me back in time to a quaint little village called Ballymann in 1920 Donegal Ireland. I enjoyed smelling the peat fires, hearing the ocean waves crashing on the rocks, seeing the sheep grazing on the hillsides, walking through the countryside, and visiting with the townsfolk as they went about their daily lives. As a reader I could tell this author had lived in Ireland and loved it as it resonated throughout the story. If I could rate this book solely on my virtual trip to Ballymann through Deibel’s prose it would be a hands down 5 star review no questions asked. Unfortunately A Dance in Donegal is not a travel book.

Thus I have to consider my connection with the characters. Regrettably this didn’t happen for me at all with the two main characters Moira Doherty and Sean McFadden, who the entire story revolves around. My heart weeped for Aedach and how he was treated by the townsfolk. I was flabbergasted how they could ever think so little about another in need, which all but a handful of townsfolk in Ballymann did about Aedach. For me Moira and Aedach’s rapport was more heartfelt and believable than Moira and Sean’s. Colm Sweeny’s knack for always knowing the right thing to say no matter the situation saved this story for me. My favorite was the conversation between Colm and Sean about what one does for a living. The conversation was very touching and full of wisdom. “Ya see, lad, it doesna matter a lick if ye’re a priest, a barkeep, or a thatcher by trade. When ya seek to love the Laird wit’ all yer heart, soul, an’ mind, and then seek ta love others selflessly, ye’re a man who will make a difference in this world one pairson at a time.” This brought tears to my eyes reminding me of my Dad, who was a dairy farmer, and a lot like Colm Sweeny. Honorable mention goes to Colm’s wife Peg, and her friend Brid. For me the supporting characters well outshined Moira and Sean.

Last but not least, the finale leaped from scene to scene making my head spin rushing to end. This sudden change of pace made me question if I was reading the same author. Waiting weeks to write this review I personally do not remember the ending at all. Plus for me it would have been better to have the glossary of Irish terms and phrases at the beginning of the book instead of the end to help understand the language better.

I sincerely wrestled with this one as I never felt moved or totally immersed with characters Moira and Sean and their relationship, or the feeling that I could not put A Dance in Donegal down. Sadly my rating is 3 out of 5 stars for this debut. I enjoyed it, but it fell a bit short in character development for me. If you enjoy reading Historical Christian Fiction, please, please, do give Jennifer Deibel’s debut a look, as many others really enjoyed A Dance in Donegal’s magical trip.

I received a complimentary copy of this book courtesy of Revell through Interviews & Reviews and NetGalley. Plus I was a participating member of the author’s private launch team on Facebook. ( )
  ladyansel | Mar 2, 2021 |
I felt like I was on the journey with Moira as she travels to Ireland to become a teacher in her mother's homeland. As she gets there, she faces many new idea and customs. Many are very welcoming to her and others hold strong to superstitions and the past. I would hard enough to give up all and travel to a new country, but to face what Moira had to would make it even more daunting. I was glad that she was able to find others along the way to help her on her new journey.

I received a copy to read, the review is mine. ( )
  polarmath | Feb 28, 2021 |
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