THE DEAD DON'T DANCE: A Novel of Awakening

Charles Martin, Author . Thomas Nelson/WestBow Press $13.99 (320p) ISBN 978-0-7852-6181-0

Competent writing and a poignant plot combine to make Martin's first novel with newcomer fiction imprint WestBow an absorbing read for fans of faith-based fiction. In rural South Carolina, Maggie and Dylan expectantly await the birth of their first child. Tragedy strikes when their son is stillborn and Maggie slips into a long-term coma. Refusing to give up on her recovery, a devastated Dylan marks time earning money as an adjunct English professor at Digger Junior College. In a role vaguely reminiscent of the teachers in Mr. Holland's Opus or To Sir with Love , Dylan connects with his students in spite of himself and is able to offer hope to others amid his own disappointment and grief. As Dylan waits for some change in Maggie's condition, he reflects on his life and hers in numerous seamless flashbacks. Martin integrates faith elements into the story with a deft touch. But what makes this book sing is not the plot, which sometimes feels disaster-heavy (rape, abortion, coma, car accident), but the delightfully quirky characters. From Amos, the black, bald deputy who is Dylan's best friend, to Bryce Kai MacGregor, a Vietnam veteran who lives north of town in a drive-in movie theater, drinks Old Milwaukee beer and plays the bagpipes mostly in the buff, they are ingeniously imaginative creations. (May)

Forecast :This promising novel marks the debut of Thomas Nelson's new fiction imprint, WestBow Press, which will also feature titles by Ted Dekker, Angela Hunt, Frank Peretti and Robert Whitlow.

Reviewed on: 03/22/2004
Release date: 05/01/2004
Genre: Fiction
Mass Market Paperbound - 344 pages - 978-1-59554-327-1
Open Ebook - 320 pages - 978-1-4185-6638-8
Portable Document Format (PDF) - 320 pages - 978-1-4185-1281-1
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