Thursday, June 16, 2011

Book Review: Dancing in the Shadows of Love

 Dancing in the Shadows of Love by Judy Croome is my first e-book. I finally bit the carrot and downloaded Kindle to my computer, then downloaded her book.

On her blog, Judy describes Dancing in the Shadows of Love as “a novel of hope and mystery.” I would describe it as haunting. The women and their stories will stick with you long after you’ve put down the book. The world Lulu, Jamila and Zahra live in is foreign to me, but their emotions and fears and quest for love are not.

For me, it was like entering a strange world where things are a bit upside down and new to me, but each day I was compelled to go back and continue reading, to find out what would happen to them. Of the three women, Lulu is the one who threads their lives together. Lulu, an albino, has always been a victim of prejudice. She was even imprisoned for ten years for a murder she did not commit. Because of that betrayal, she learns to hate and distrust. It’s only after she is released and experiences love at the Court of St. Jerome that she begins to trust again. But is her trust deserved? In a synopsis of the book, Judy Croome wrote:
Nothing, however, is as it seems and Lulu discovers that love does not always wear the face of the one you yearn to call beloved.
For me, the pull of this book was the characters, the setting, the strange, new-to-me world and the unexpected turns the story takes. I suspect I’ll read it again, just to visit Lulu, Jamila and Zahra.

Dancing in the Shadows of Love

For anyone wanting to know more about Judy Croome and Dancing in the Shadows of Love, check out Judy’s blog.

To promote her book, Judy is giving away some great prizes, including a critique of your manuscript, with 3 months post-critique mentorship, an Amazon voucher and books and all kinds of stuff. You have until the end of this month to enter.
You can also check out the book trailer.

I give Dancing in the Shadows of Love a rating of Hel-of-a-Writer. I’m definitely amazed by Judy Croome’s writing.
FTC Disclaimer: Judy Croome gave me a copy of the book, but this did not influence my review. She did not even request a review. But isn’t it something that a woman in Johannesburg, South Africa, can write a book and in a couple of clicks I, in Texas, can be reading that book within minutes (seconds if I’d known what I was doing). If I’d had an iPad like my husband, I would have finished it a whole lot sooner. Maybe next year. Christmas is only about a half year away!


  1. Helen, what can I say except 'thank-you' for taking the time to write a review. I'm so pleased you found the characters and the story interesting.

    And I'm with you on finding it amazing that I can sit here, on the southern tip of Africa, and know that readers all the way over in Texas can enjoy my book!

    Judy, South Africa

  2. Your first eBook - that's awesome! Hope you get an iPad for Christmas, Helen. You'll dig it.

  3. I've just purchased this! I'm SO looking forward to digging in!

  4. I love good character books!

  5. Crossing my fingers for you to get an iPad, Helen! Thanks for the review. This sounds like an interesting book with some unique characters.

  6. I have the book on my computer and in the queue for reading. Can't wait! Congrats Judy!

    And yes, Helen, it is amazing how simple it suddenly is to distribute books, our biggest problem as African writers. I keep repeating it- this is the BEST time to be a writer!

  7. I agree, Judy, that is amazing.

    Lauri, this is an wonderful time to be a writer. Makes you wonder what will come next!

  8. Sounds like an amazing read with wonderful characters. I love a book when the characters are so vivid they remain with you long after you've finished the book. Best of luck to Judy.

    Thoughts in Progress
    Freelance Editing By Mason

  9. Thanks for the reviews. I've stopped by Judy's blog a few times in the past but wasn't acquanted with her book.

    And that's a Hel-of-a promotional giveaway! Hope I win as I'll be looking for critiques of Opening real soon.

  10. I agree Mason - books where the characters stay with you are wonderful!

  11. Sounds like this will be on my list, or rather in my hand, very soon. I love the idea of learning of people navigating a different world or culture and yet still being able to identify in basic human needs and emotions.

  12. Really, must get a Kindle. It's so much more comfortable than reading on your computer!

  13. I agree Laura. A Kindle or any eReader would be better than on the computer. Plus, I already read so many manuscripts on the computer since I edit other writers' books.

  14. You certainly make this book sound good. And I have a real kindle!

    Actually, I started out with kindle on the computer, but then I got hooked--so much smaller and easier to carry around with me.

  15. ...I purchased this one a couple weeks ago. As you mentioned, Helen, the culture surrounding the story is unlike anything I've experienced here in the states, and found it fascinating...this great big world we live in, and the different ways of life scattered about :)

    Judy hit a home run with this one!


  16. ALEX: Now that you mention IPad…that’s top of my Xmas list already! My brother in law has one and is so in love with it we’re quite worried about him…! :)

    JESSICA: I do hope you enjoy it!

    DIANE: Character driven stories can be just as entertaining as plot driven novels.

    ELIZABETH: The description of Dancing in the Shadows of Love as “interesting” is one I can easily live with! :)

    LAURI: With all the excitement of your Caine Literary Award function and your Nigerian workshop coming up I’m surprised you’ve even had time to download it! And I SO agree with you – this is the best of times to be a writer. I don’t think we’ll ever have such creative freedom combined with ease of distribution again.

    MASON: Thanks for the good wishes!

    STEPHEN: Still two weeks to post a review and gain entry into the competition 2, with Grand Prize of Full ms crit. Surprisingly, the promotional giveaways haven’t been successful and there are very few entrants (only two people have entered so far into the competition with the full ms critique as a prize) Good luck!

    JENNIFER: It’s heartening to know there are readers who are happy to explore new worlds and cultures, because essentially the external differences that separate us and create prejudice are meaningless: underneath those differences lies the thread of our common humanity (and you can see this is my passion, it’s a major theme in the book!)

    LAURA: Yes, I agree! Helen must get her Kindle – it’s an amazing device (I can even turn pages lying in bed with my hands warm and toasty under the blankets. You can’t do that with a paper book! :)

    SHEILA: I, too, started out with the Kindle on computer, but got frustrated when I was in the middle of a book and couldn’t take it in the bath or to bed with me! But with my Kindle I can!

    ELLIOT: With the advent of social media, our world is getting so much smaller – lots of benefits, but sometimes I yearn for a bygone era when humanity wasn’t quite so homogenous as advancing technology has made us. Hope that sales and all your book signings for “South of Charm” are going well!

    Judy, South Africa

  17. Just got a Kindle reader for my lap top, so I'll buy the Kindle version. Amazon shipping to my part of the world takes forever

    Cold As Heaven

  18. Fascinating book and on my TBR list.

  19. Sounds great i like this blog thanks

  20. Hi Helen .. excellent review and Judy has done everyone proud with her replies to comments ..

    I have a voucher and must download the book & read!! Having lived there I can't wait to be drawn back in ..

    Everyone's loving it .. and that's a wonderful place for Judy to be in with a new book, and us as readers to meet up - even if we live around the world.

    Fascinating .. cheers Hilary

  21. Sounds intriguing and it is on my to read list!

  22. Nice review, Helen.

    Judy very kindly gave my novel a great review on Amazon and Goodreads, so I thought I should at least read hers. :-) I'm reading it now and I'm enthralled. Her world is new to me too, but its symbolism is familiar. Her characters will indeed stay with me after I reach the end.

  23. Judy created memorable characters that, after having finished the book, I still think about. Haunting is a very good description.

  24. COLD: How exciting! You've got a Kindle! I love mine and I save a fortune on postage costs!

    JEAN: Thanks for adding the book to your TBR pile. I hope you enjoy it when you reach it's place in the pile :)
    GED: Helen's blog is a mine of useful information, you'll enjoy it and learn so much!

    HILARY: Lovely to see you here as well Hilary! With Wimbledon up soon, there won't be much time for reading! :)

    CHRISTA : Thanks also for adding it to your list. I really hope you do find it intriguing.

    LINDA: I only gave your Brevity of Roses a great review because it was such a great read - couldn't put it down!

    JUDITH: So glad to hear you enjoyed the book - I wasn't sure how you would find it so happy that you enjoyed it enough to still be thinking about it.

    Judy, South Africa

  25. It sounds like a wonderful read that might have extra meaning for me because I'm a South African too.



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