Happy Friday, Reader Friends!!
Thanks for stopping by Diversity Between the Pages. I’m excited to share my review of D.L. Sleiman’s Dance from Deep Within. You may remember I did an interview with her early this month. Check it out here if you haven’t read it already.
About the Book
“Despite her conservative Muslim heritage, Layla Al-Rai longs for a chance to earn her degree in engineering and perhaps even…dare she dream…to choose her own husband. But young women from her background rarely enjoy such freedoms. When she finally talks her parents into letting her attend college, she is drawn to fellow twenty-something students, Allie and Rain, over a class project.
Allie, the blonde ballerina, faces her own struggles as she deals with an ex-fiancé and a church she had hoped to leave behind. Rain, the bi-racial hippie chick, longs for something to believe in, but her questioning could cost her the love of her life.
When Layla’s childhood sweetheart reenters her world, it seems her dreams might become real. Until everything falls apart. When she meets truth face to face, will she find the courage to accept it even if it requires the ultimate sacrifice?”
I loved the premise of this novel when I first read the blurb. Normally, I don’t read the blurb, but I did for the purpose of this blog. 🙂
The lives of Rain, Allie, and Layla are authentic, believable, and fraught with life issues. I loved how Ms. Sleiman didn’t force salvation on the characters. All of their reactions were very realistic to me.
I appreciated exploring the hippie culture that Rain grew up in. It’s not something I know a lot about. I also loved Rain’s character. She cracked me up and at times broke my little heart. I can’t wait to see her in any sequels. (There will be more, right?)
I enjoyed Allie’s character. Her quite faith was refreshing, but not without trials. My heart ached for her and wanted so much for her to have closure. I LOVED the ending for her.
Layla. *sigh* I knew I would like her character from the get go. She has a quite strength that is undeniable. Her faith journey tugged at my heart. I wanted to pray for her, but remembered she wasn’t real. Still, there are those who are living her life and that brings me to my knees.
Overall, this book has greatness in spades. In the diversity department, 5 stars. Can’t get more diverse than a Christian, Muslim, and hippe. In the faith department, 5 stars. Seriously, any time you have a Christian overcoming untruths, a hippie searching for truth, and a Muslim looking at Christianity, you know the faith element is going to be off the charts. There’s also romance sprinkled in that makes me happy. All in all, a must read!
*Much thanks to my local library to adding to my book reading habit.
About the Author
Award-winning author, Dina Sleiman, writes stories of passion and grace. Most of the time you will find this Virginia Beach resident reading, biking, dancing, or hanging out with her husband and three children, preferably at the oceanfront. Since finishing her Professional Writing MA in 1994, she has enjoyed many opportunities to teach literature, writing, and the arts. Her debut novel, Dance of the Dandelion with Whitefire Publishing, won an Honorable Mention in the 2012 Selah Awards, and her cross-over YA novel, Dauntless, won the 2016 Carol Award in its genre from the American Christian Fiction Writers. Also look for her books, Love in Three-Quarter Time, Dance from Deep Within, and the rest of her Valiant Hearts series with Bethany House Publishers including Chivalrous and Courageous. Dina serves on the editorial board for WhiteFire as well, and during the day she utilizes her writing talent with the humanitarian organization Operation Blessing International. Join her as she discovers the unforced rhythms of grace.
Review conducted by Toni Shiloh