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Tuesday, February 1, 2011

A Time to Dance

Did you ever get just the right novel at just the right time? God seems to work that way a lot with me. This fall my husband went on a trip to Nashville and brought me a book for my “souvenir.” He figured with a name like A Time to Dance it would be a sure hit. I wasn’t quite convinced I would enjoy a Karen Kingsbury novel, but I kept that little tidbit to myself. I did, in fact, love the title as well. So into my TBR stack it went, and I promised myself I would get to it soon.

Once I finished my stint with reading sisterhood novels for my own research, I pulled out the Karen Kingsbury book. As some of you know, I have been going through some really tough times in my marriage, and around that precise moment I was closer to giving up than ever before.

So can you guess what A Time to Dance is about?

I’ll give you the brief rundown. After over twenty years of marriage, Abby and John are about to announce their impending divorce to their children. They’ve tried everything and have nothing left to give. But at the family meeting before they can share the news, their twenty-year-old daughter has her own surprise announcement to make. She’s engaged and getting married in the summer. Being the dedicated Christian parents that they are, Abby and John decide they will somehow figure out a way to paste on fake smiles and make it through six more months so their daughter’s day can be perfect.

The book is all about marriages. How do they fall apart? What makes them work? What happens when they end? Abby and John are surrounded by a lively cast of secondary characters who each reflect this issue in some way. And, as I’m sure you figured out by now, this novel touched me in a significant way. I can’t promise that you will respond to it as strongly, but I think anyone will find elements in this book to change them and help them grow.

Whether you have let yourself get caught up in the busyness of life and grow hard-hearted like Abby, escaped into an relaxing relationship with a supportive and flirtatious “buddy” like John, have given up on marriage like their future in-laws, or are looking forward to a perfect marriage like their daughter, no doubt you will find someone in this book to relate to.

I related most to John. Although he never had an affair, over time his escapism with his “buddy” Charlene Denton did serious damage to his marriage. The other woman in the book, Charlene, was quite a character indeed with her subtle and patient seduction of John. She will serve as a cautionary tale for me for a long time. But John played along all too easily and contributed in his own way.

Ultimately, the most important thing I learned from the book was this: it takes two people to destroy a marriage and two people to repair one. This novel encouraged me to do something God had asked me to do several weeks earlier, and that I had been wrestling with him over.

To take a leap of faith hand in hand with my husband.

So in a bold and unified move, my husband let go of some of his hurts and fears, and I let go of some of mine. We’re taking a leap of faith. I don’t know the end of the story, but I can tell you that things turned out well for Abby and John, and I’m hopeful that they’ll turn out well for us.

This book was originally written ten years ago, but has recently been rereleased, just in time for me. What books have come to you just in time? What fiction books have changed your life? What messages have touched you?


  1. I would say it is another Karen Kingsbury title that I absolutely loved called Shades of Blue. Even though I have never had to deal with the trauma surrounding abortion, I felt this book was a total God send in my life. It really gets to the heart of forgiveness and how many doors are really opened when we learn to forgive and let God do the judging. The message of forgiveness hits very close to me at times.

  2. Karen Kingsbury definitely understands forgiveness. Her books certainly have touched many lives.