Mar 9, 2021
Set in Ireland in 1920, A Dance in Donegal mingles beautiful settings, story, and songs into a beautiful... well, dance! Jennifer Deibel has written a tale that will tangle your heartstrings into a perfect Celtic knot. Find out what inspired her in today's episode.
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Debut author, Jennifer Deibel gives us a beautiful look into a 1920s world most of us don't think of. Instead of flappers, jazz, and prohibition, we see the quiet countryside in the farthest most reaches of western Ireland. A place I've mispronounced since I was a little girl. Donegal.
Having spent years living in Ireland on two separate occasions, Jennifer is uniquely suited to crafting a story that shows an American audience an authentic picture of life in Ireland while staying true to Irish sensibilities. As I said near the beginning of our conversation, I felt right at home in A Dance in Donegal the moment Sean "insulted" Moira in that classic, Irish teasing way.
Residents of any small town will recognize the way neighbors not only stick their noses into Moira's business but consider that business to be their right.
Seriously, anyone who can't hear the love she has for Ireland and its people, its land, its culture--well, I'd argue they can't have listened well. But that's okay because all readers need to do is open the book and immerse themselves into the story.
One thing I noted as I read the book was how very similar the people of Donegal are with the people from last week's book.
What is that story? Well...
All of her life, Irish-American Moira Doherty has relished her mother's descriptions of Ireland. When her mother dies unexpectedly in the summer of 1920, Moira decides to fulfill her mother's wish that she become the teacher in Ballymann, her home village in Donegal, Ireland.
After an arduous voyage, Moira arrives to a new home and a new job in an ancient country. Though a few locals offer a warm welcome, others are distanced by superstition and suspicion. Rumors about Moira's mother are unspoken in her presence but threaten to derail everything she's journeyed to Ballymann to do. Moira must rely on the kindness of a handful of friends--and the strength of Sean, an unsettlingly handsome thatcher who keeps popping up unannounced--as she seeks to navigate a life she'd never dreamed of . . . but perhaps was meant to live.
Jennifer Deibel's debut novel delights the senses, bringing to life the sights, sounds, smells, and language of a lush country and colorful people. Historical romance fans will embrace her with open arms.
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