Book Review: I Hope You Dance

22 Jan

UnknownRuth Henderson has moved back in with her parents — something she swore she would never do, especially not at the age of thirty-three. But in the face of the mountain of debt left by her late partner, and the fact that her teenage daughter, Maggie, is expressing her grief through acts of delinquency, there was really only one option.

Returning to a house Ruth swore never to set foot in again is bad enough. Add to this an estranged father, whirlwind mother, and David — the boy next door who broke her heart–and it is little wonder Ruth can barely make it out of bed.

But then, reunited with her old friend Lois, Ruth is persuaded to go along to a monthly girls’ night. Here she meets a bunch of incredible women and for the first time since leaving home at eighteen, Ruth begins to make some genuine friends.

She also has her first ever date — with the charming Dr. Carl Barker. However, after a disastrous dinner, and an upset Maggie still struggling with her father’s death, Ruth promises her daughter she won’t go out with any other men. A promise she quickly regrets when David, the boy next door, asks her to dance . . . .

beth-new-cropped-w179Beth Moran lives in Nottingham with her husband, and three children. When she’s not writing, Beth helps lead a national women’s network.



My Impressions:

I Hope You Dance by Beth Moran is women’s fiction with a delightful British accent. Offering a fresh perspective on people and places and culture, it made me laugh, sigh, and think. Although it is a bit different from what most American readers expect from Christian fiction, this novel gets a recommended read designation from me.

After vowing never to return, Ruth Henderson is back at home with her parents following a fifteen year absence. With her is her troubled fourteen year old daughter, Maggie, and a suitcase load of regret, grief, embarrassment and guilt. But Ruth discovers that you really can go home when you are surrounded by your slightly off-kilter family and brutally honest, but loving friends.

I Hope You Dance led to many chuckles and a few laugh out loud moments as Ruth relates her new life back in the town where she grew up. Strong, witty, and at times, a bit irreverent writing combined with slightly quirky, yet extremely likable characters made this book hard to put down. There is a balance as Moran’s humor allows the light-hearted moments to soften some very difficult events — there are a few intense scenes with a seriously creepy stalker. Ruth’s search for peace and forgiveness is helped along by women dedicated to God and each other. Truth spoken in love is really lived out in this book.

Please note: although this book is marketed as Christian, I Hope You Dance doesn’t fit the mold we are used to here in the United States. There is some profanity (at least what is termed as such in the South) and the characters drink (though not to excess). While this did not bother me, I know some readers could be offended. If you are one of those, then perhaps this book is not for you. But if you like a decidedly British twist to your humor, characters that are real, relatable and you want as your own best friends, and a story that touches your heart, then I Hope You Dance could be right up your street!


Audience: adults.

To purchase, click HERE.

(Thanks to Kregel and Lion Hudson for a review copy. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)


2 Responses to “Book Review: I Hope You Dance”

  1. Carole January 22, 2016 at 5:10 pm #

    So glad you enjoyed this book, Beckie! I left you a note on my blog also. I really like Beth’s writing, the combination of humor and serious issues. And there’s just something about British fiction, from drama to police procedurals. Don’t know why I enjoy it so much, but I do. I even subscribe to Acorn TV and still can’t get my fill of British shows.


    • rbclibrary January 22, 2016 at 5:20 pm #

      I know what you mean. We watch old James Herriot videos still! I am glad Kregel makes this type of book available.


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