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The Dance (The Restoration Series Book #1): A Novel [Kindle Edition]

Dan Walsh , Gary Smalley
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (206 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Jim Anderson is a successful businessman, and his wife, Marilyn, is the perfect wife. And why wouldn't she be? He gives her everything she needs. That's why Jim never expected to come home one day and find Marilyn gone.
After 27 years of marriage, Marilyn has had enough of feeling unloved and neglected. She wants to experience some measure of happiness before she's too old to enjoy it, even signing up for dance lessons, something Jim would never do. What will it take for Jim to finally become the man Marilyn needs him to be?

Combining the literary talents of bestselling author Dan Walsh and the relationship expertise of bestselling author Gary Smalley, The Dance is the romantic first novel in The Restoration Series. Readers will get caught up in these flawed but earnest characters as they rediscover genuine love and start a transformation that will ultimately affect their whole family.

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Renowned relationship-expert Smalley joins with award-winning novelist Walsh to create a heart-wrenching portrait of a painful marriage. The story of Jim and Marilyn Anderson feels as true as any real couple’s, thanks to Smalley’s years as a counselor and Walsh’s excellent attention to detail. Like many women, Marilyn, decades into her marriage, finds herself feeling unloved and disconnected from her husband. Jim prides himself on being the head of his home in a biblical manner, and he’s shocked and furious when he discovers that Marilyn has decided to leave him. What will their grown children think? How will their community accept it? Jim’s world has crumbled, while Marilyn has rebuilt hers. Then, on separate paths, Marilyn and Jim both begin to find healing through ballroom dancing. Jim hopes to win Marilyn back, but her heart may be far too hardened after years of neglect. Readers will be totally drawn into their emotional journey as the wounds, large and small, continue to reveal themselves in the Andersons’ marriage. --Carolyn Richard


"...Readers will definitely come away satisfied and shedding tears at the end. Mixing fiction's emotion and nonfiction's teaching works splendidly here." Publishers Weekly

4.5 Stars/Top Pick - "Walsh's literary talents and Smalley's relationship expertise combine in a spiritually and emotionally powerful start to the Restoration series. Walsh's characters come to life, and important marital and life lessons are woven throughout." -- RT Book Reviews

"...When a novel is in the hands of accomplished storyteller Dan Walsh and the lessons come from relationship expert Gary Smalley, the result is a story that manages to simultaneously teach and entertain...As always, Walsh paints the background with a master's touch: the Andersons' fictional home town sounds so charming readers will want to take their next vacation there. The Dance is the first of a series focusing on the Anderson family. That's good; because this Dance deserves an encore." ―

Product Details

  • File Size: 770 KB
  • Print Length: 353 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0800721489
  • Publisher: Revell (April 1, 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00AHY0V7G
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #205,576 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars It takes only "one" to Tango?? October 28, 2013
I have read several of Mr. Smalley's books as well as used his materials for married couples & have found them to be very helpful.

This fiction book was a disappointment. I had looked forward to a more realistic portrayal of marriage but instead found a fairy tale.

The wife leaves an upper class lifestyle to take a minimum wage job & rent a room from a friend to find true happiness or herself or maybe the fairy tale. There are no biblical grounds for separation or divorce. We are told how the husband has not met many of her emotional needs. As I continued reading it seemed he was to meet ALL her needs.

The husband in the story is treated like a cash machine. Not only by his wife, but his children as well. He is portrayed as bossy, driven, not romantic & oh he can't dance. He does though provide for his family with an upper class lifestyle which they criticize one moment while in the next wanting money from him.

The book does a good job at showing how the husband took for granted his wife. Sadly though the wife never once thinks how she doesn't even know the man she married is losing his business because she never asked. She never thanked him for providing her the opportunity to be a stay at home mom. When she leaves him she never experiences the financial hardships that occur like bills, medical needs, insurance, where to live, and mainly how she will make a living.

Now 2/3 of the divorces are initiated by women. One reason that is given is "unhappy". The husband in this story took for granted many of the roles his wife played at the same time she took for granted many of the blessings she enjoyed because her husband provided for his family.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ladies weep; Men get gooseflesh. March 22, 2013
Good for both marriage genders. Reading "The DANCE" is like finding a double-yolk egg--double sunny-side-up. Both Gary Smalley and Dan Walsh contribute best-selling writer qualities to this first-of-4 in "The Restoration Series." There's depth in this equally-yoked novel.

The Anderson marriage is upscale Florida life, but less than sunny. Marilyn's had enough. Jim's blindsided when she walks away from a 27 year marriage. "We're both believers, for heaven's sake!" he reminds his collegiate-soon-to-be-wed daughter.
Marilyn takes a marriage furlough to regroup and consider events as far back as Jim's refusal to dance with his bride at their wedding. Way more hurt than The Dance; way more.

A great joint-read for married couples in their second decade and beyond. Christian, alternate faith, or none--marriage takes work times 2, like the double-yolk egg. This look at contemporary marriage survival teaches and entertains. I was stunned by the power of "The DANCE," a relationship textbook done in a novel format. A double-yolker: forgiveness/redemption; Walsh/Smalley.

Reading "The DANCE" encourages, nay, demands one to express their love to their spouse. A convicting relationship grabber.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Mixed Emotions for this one April 29, 2013
The Dance was written by Dan Walsh and Gary Smalley. While I enjoyed the story itself; the characters were well developed and the plot line moved along well, I have some a hesitancy in recommending it fully.

The two main characters Jim and Marilyn Anderson have been married for twenty-seven years. Marilyn is tired of feeling unloved and walks out. Jim is left dumbfounded, clueless as to what he's done. That's all in the first two chapters (actually on the back cover) so I'm not being a spoiler.

The pages that come after are primarily about Jim's journey of self-discovery and a formulation of a plan to win his wife's heart back. In the meantime Marilyn if finding happiness and freedom that she has never felt before. All of this is really well done, I cried many times reading through the painful revelations.

BUT, I had a profound sense of dissatisfaction after I was done reading. I know people who are in marriages that are similar to the one described in the pages here. Everything wrapped up a little too neatly in my mind and in too short of a time frame. The other problem being, that, while there was some excellent advice for any husband who wants to capture their wife's man is ever going to read this book. Women are going to read this book and if they happen to be caught in a marriage similar to Marilyn's, they may find it a bit discouraging to see things turn out so neatly for someone in the pages of a book while they are still caught in the midst.

Great writing, great story, I'm just a little confused as to the intent and the desired audience that The Dance is trying to reach.

The Dance has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.

Available at your favourite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Given a 1 star because there are not any negative stars. September 1, 2013
By dabeaty
Fairy Tale Ending and Bad Advice at Best.

As a pastor that does considerable pre-marital and marriage counseling I was looking forward to reading this book. Anything that I can add to the arsenal of the marriage battle I am interested in. The idea of a marriage counseling novel was a novel idea. Needless to say, I was very disappointed.

As I started into the book, it appeared to be lopsided in favor of the wife. She had walked out on the marriage: not because he cheated on her, not because he abused her, not because he didn't provide for her, not even because he didn't love her, but simply because she wasn't happy. I continued reading thinking that certainly there was going to be twist in the story line to show that both parties carried a portion of the blame. That did not turn out to be the case. The most fault we saw of hers was near the end of the book when they started their restoration. It mentioned that she had some bitterness that she would have to work on.

There are really only two good characters in the book, Audrey and Uncle Henry. This is excluding the husband who does everything in his power to restore his relationship with his wayward wife. Audrey is an older former dance instructor who teaches Jim how to dance with his wife, Marilyn, both on the floor and in life. Uncle Henry is a concerned uncle of Jim's who regularly prays for him and helps him know how to respond to his wife.

One repeated theme of the book is that their "Old" church is part of the problem. When Marilyn moves out, she goes to a new "Younger" church where they are more accepting and friendly. When Jim starts getting "Straightened" out from being such an old traditionalist, he recognizes that he needs to follow his daughter to their hip "Young" church.
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More About the Author

Dan Walsh is the bestselling author of 14 novels and 1 nonfiction devotional, including The Unfinished Gift, The Reunion and The Discovery. He has won 3 ACFW Carol Awards, 3 Selah Awards, and 3 times his novels have been named as finalists for RT Reviews Inspirational Novel of the Year.

For those who haven't read Dan's books, reviewers often compare him to Nicholas Sparks and Richard Paul Evans. Although more recently, Dan has also started to pen suspense novels (like, What Follows After and When Night Comes). Dan has been writing fulltime since 2010. He and his wife Cindi have been married 38 years and have 2 grown children and 2 grandchildren. They live in the Daytona Beach area, where Dan grew up. You can follow him on Facebook or Twitter, read his blog, or preview all his books by visiting his website at

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