A Dance in Donegal – Jennifer Deibel

A Dance in Donegal Jennifer Deibel (1)
A Dance in Donegal by Jennifer Deibel
Published by Revell on February 2, 2021
Genres: Fiction, Historical
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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 a colorful people. Historical romance fans will embrace her with open arms.

A Dance in Donegal is a lovely debut novel set in the enchanting country of Ireland back in the early 1900s. Deibel brings Ireland to life with its lush, green countryside. Ireland has long been at the top of my ‘places I want to visit’ list, and that factor alone put this on my must read list. Jennifer Deibel does a wonderful job of transporting the reader to the beautiful Irish countryside. She writes with vivid detail, capturing the reader with her use of language, imagery, and culture.

Moira was an intriguing heroine. She’d never been to Ireland, but was brave enough to go, simply because it was her dying mother’s wish for her. She went to a country of which she knew very little of, including their language, to teach young children in a school. Yes, it was quite the adventure! The small Irish village was beautiful, but Moira quickly learned there was a lot more to Ballymann and its inhabitants than what met the eye. And what about the rumors that were circulating about her mother, which caused the people to treat her distantly? Moira was determined to get to the bottom of things and discover the truth of what really happened.

I enjoyed the setting, the richness of the details. Deibel left me wishing more than ever to go see this beautiful land. I also enjoyed the characters, but found them a little bit flat.  I would have liked to have a bit more depth in the relationships that are portrayed, as well as some explanations to go with some of the happenings. I felt like this story could have been even better with some added dimensions. Also, as a disclaimer, there is an attempted sexual assault in the story, so I give a word of caution. Overall, though, A Dance in Donegal is captivating and enchanting, and will leave you with a hunger for Ireland and all things Irish.