Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Reviewer Praise for "While You Were Dancing"

I have been a bit out of sorts recently, but just noticed this review for my novella, While You Were Dancing on Catholicfiction.net. I have to admit, I was always apprehensive about putting this out because I was afraid people would mistake it for a nihilistic dirge. That caused me a lot of strain in rewrites, but I'm glad the reviewer told the story for what it was and instantly got what my intention was. It's a relief to me when a story comes across to people.

Some quotes I enjoyed:

"Yet, at the same time, the confused, detached mood and technicality of the work furthered the environment that Two Tone was living in: a society where people detached themselves from each other, a world full of darkness and pain. Appropriately, much of the story happens while it is raining, which adds to the dreary atmosphere. Through specific details, Cowan opens up this world for the reader."

"Much of the story is told by way of Two Tone’s own thoughts and reflections, and in these reflections, the reader comes upon prominent themes of the story, one being loneliness. Two Tone experiences incredible loneliness and separation from others, noting that most nights, he was “left sitting and waiting for an idea of what (he) should do.” While sitting alone in his apartment, Two Tone thinks about dancing, and reflects that he has a purpose greater than merely going about his daily work—yet he could not fulfill his entire purpose by himself."

"In our society, which is continually filled with chaos, sin, darkness, and suffering, the message of hope is important and necessary. While You Were Dancing was difficult for me to follow because of the complicated arrangement of scenes and the lack of character exposition, but it was very intriguing and beautiful in its message of redemption. Two Tone’s loneliness calls out to the reader, encouraging the reader to hold close to others. This book made me ask myself: When life gets rough, is it easier to go through everything alone, or with another? Further reflection on Two Tone’s character and the story shows that it is always best to join with another in times of trial. Furthermore, this story illuminates the darkness of society with hope; it reminds the reader that hope is always to be present and cultivated in the lives of Christians, since Christ has conquered all: “Sunrise was coming soon, and with it the rain would finally break. Everything would be different.""

I do apologize if the text was a bit rough for readers, but I do hope they manage to get as much out of my novella as Mrs. Hauge did.

Many thanks to Catholic Fiction for this charitable review!

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