Journey To The Emerald Isle With A New Voice In Historical Fiction

I am always excited to meet a new author through the pages of their debut novel, and this month I became acquainted with the talented new voice of Jennifer Deibel. “A Dance in Donegal” was published by Revell earlier this year, and is a richly atmospheric story set in Ireland, 1921. Although it started out light and gentle, it soon became apparent this story was much deeper – and darker – than first impressions led me to believe.

“A Dance in Donegal” is certain to captivate fans of Christian Historical Fiction, especially those who enjoy stories set “across the pond”. This novel brings Ireland and her people to life – the good, the bad, and the ugly. I learned a lot about this fascinating little country, including some of the language and lore of the Emerald Isle (be prepared to add a visit to Ireland to your bucket list!).

While I definitely appreciated the faith aspects of this story, and admire how the author brought the characters to life, there were a few weak aspects about the story as well… I found that a couple traumatic experiences were rather glossed over, with only minor emotional repercussions for what should have been a life-altering event. Not that we can’t heal and grow from trauma, but it shouldn’t be swept under the rug, either.

To put it simply, this was a good story and I feel the author has much potential – but this story felt tied up in a bow too easily. It featured some pretty dark moments, and I don’t feel the characters reflected the emotions of true life as much as they could have. I will definitely read more of Jennifer Deibel’s work in the future, as she is a welcome addition to my favorite genre. I believe she will grow as an author over time, and her writing will reflect this.

I am grateful to have received a copy of this book, free of charge, in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed are my own.

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