Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Review - Dance in the Desert

I promised a review of the book To Dance in the Desert by Kathleen Popa. It was part of the CFBA Tour at the end of July, and my wife gave me her thoughts on it. I don't typically read this type of book, but I'd had contact with Katy through the forum at Faith in Fiction, and wanted to check it out for myself.

Reviewing this book makes me want to pull out all the pretty adjectives I know! The book is sparkling, airy, and heartfelt all at the same time. The writing was a real treat away from the suspense and mayhem I usually read.

Dara is a young woman who has moved to the desert to get away from the world. She thought that no one would interfere in her life, and she could have security. Like her late father always said, "It's not a safe world."

However, her seclusion is shattered when a mysterious older woman named Jane dances out in the desert and shocks Dara out of her cocoon. The two unlikely friends develop a friendship and move to a small town to help revive Jane's brother's struggling restaurant. All this time Dara is fighting against the call to join in with life rather than running away from it.

Ms. Popa's prose truly is sparkling and inventive. She has a way with words to catch beauty in mundane things, and to make the remarkable even more poingnant. She keeps the pace moving along nicely - none of the literary belly-button contemplation that can be found in some books. Smaller points like scrambled eggs and a furry cat become significant in her hands.

The book struggles a little toward the end. It's almost like the author only had so much room to put things in, and the lyrical pace gets hurried with rapid plot developments and resolution. As this is her first book, that this is the only significant complaint actually speaks a lot about her talent. I'm sure that there will be a lot more beauty coming from the pen (or keyboard) of Kathleen Popa, and for those who like contemporary women's fiction will not want to miss out.


  1. The bookcover is stunning! I'm definitely putting this on my list of books I want to read.

    Thanks for tip.

  2. Thanks for your kind words, Jason. I'm so glad you enjoyed the book.
    Kathleen Popa