I’m on just about every email subscription list having anything to do with books as I am an avid reader and always on the lookout for something interesting to read next. It was through one of these emails – from publisher Simon & Schuster I think – that The Unexpected Waltz, by Kim Wright came to my attention.
I was immediately drawn to the title and the cover – things I’m embarrassed to admit often draw me to a book. I looked it up on Amazon only to find it only had 33 or 34 reviews. That seemed like a bad omen. Perhaps few had read the book, and perhaps there was a good reason for that. Still, that title and that cover….
I’m happy to say I loved the book. And the dancing wasn’t the least of what I loved about the book, I must admit.
Kelly Wilder’s much-older husband passed away a year ago, and she has spent the past year hiding from life, despite the fact that he left her a fortune. In fact, we learn as the story goes on, that she has spent most of her life doing what she is expected to do and playing it safe. By accident, she stumbles into a dance studio run by a Russian immigrant, and before she knows what is happening, she has signed up for classes.
The dance classes and the people she meets through the classes awaken her to what life has to offer and for all intents and purposes change her life for the better.
I loved the storyline and the characters, but I equally loved the descriptions of the ballroom dances. Being a staunch fan of Dancing With the Stars, it was fun to read the about the dances, the difficulty of the steps, design of the clothing, and the focus required to dance well.
Many moons ago, some people with whom I worked confided in me about their concern for a friend of theirs who had signed up with Arthur Murray to learn to dance. Since he was a single male, they had initially been very supportive. However, what seemed to them as his growing dependence on the classes made them increasingly nervous. I never learned exactly how it all played out, but I thought about it as I read this novel. I can see how learning to dance could equate to learning to take control of your life, and become sort of addicting. Wright presents the potential of becoming addicted to dancing very well.
The novel offers a variety of characters, all loveable and quirky. I liked that the book is about friendship and never really a love story, at least not a typical love story. And I enjoyed seeing Kelly reach her potential at this later stage in her life.
It is really a lovely novel that left me feeling good, and wishing I could learn to dance!
Buy The Unexpected Waltz from Amazon here.
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Buy The Unexpected Waltz from Tattered Cover here.
Buy The Unexpected Waltz from Changing Hands here.