Sunday, 14 August 2016

Review - The Summer We Danced by Fiona Harper

Prior to reading The Summer We Danced, I’d never read anything written by Fiona Harper before but it’s fair to say that having enjoyed this book so much I’ll definitely be back for more. It was a light, heartwarming story that was thoroughly entertaining and turned out to be the most perfect company as I sat in the garden on one warm, summer’s day. I thoroughly enjoyed absolutely everything about this delightful read. 

Pippa Hayes has returned to Elmhurst, a village in Kent, where she grew up after going through an extremely public divorce when her husband left her for a glamour model he met whilst taking part in a reality TV programme. Returning to Elmhurst her confidence is shattered and she’s not at all happy with how she looks, but the passion she had for dancing as a child still very much exists inside her. With some encouragement from her sister, she decides to put on her dancing shoes once more and turns up at Miss Mimi’s School of Dance where her childhood dance teacher awaits her. However, all is not well and it’s not long before they have a fight on their hands to save the dance school from being destroyed - a fight which sees Pippa re-connect with old friends and make plenty of new ones, including the delightful Tom...

I thought that Pippa’s character was brilliant throughout The Summer We Danced and thought that she was a real breath of fresh air. Apart from being extremely likeable from the start, as the novel progresses we really get to see Pippa grow and develop as a person. It really was so wonderful to see her rebuild her life and regain her confidence in something that it was clear she was so passionate about, pursuing her dreams. You sometimes read of characters who after they’ve been through a hard time become quite selfish but not Pippa who was always looking out for other people, meaning that she developed some truly wonderful friendships that really brought this novel to life and made it so special.

It didn’t take long after I started this book for me to fall head over heels in love with Fiona Harper’s divine writing style. Although the ending of the book was somewhat predictable and there were no big reveals or huge surprises, the way in which it was written completely captivated me and kept me interested throughout its duration. I particularly enjoyed the theme of this book - dancing - that I don’t often get the chance to read many books about and the references that were made to some of my most favourite films!

I really did adore this beautiful novel so much which was a pleasure to read and one that I couldn’t bear to be parted with. It was told from the heart and was packed full of emotion, with community spirit shining through and both tender and humorous moments. I found it impossible not to enjoy this novel and I’m now eagerly anticipating having the chance to read more by Fiona. With The Summer We Danced, she’s definitely become an author whose books I will most certainly look out for.