Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Dancing with the Sun by Kay Bratt

book cover
Dancing with the Sun
by Kay Bratt

ISBN-13: 9781503904811
Paperback: 236 pages
Publisher: Lake Union Publishing
Released: Nov. 27, 2018

Source: ebook review copy from the publisher through NetGalley.

Book Description, Modified from Goodreads:
When Sadie Harlan visits her daughter, Lauren, at her summer internship in Yosemite National Park, it seems like the perfect way to forget about her empty nest and failing marriage back home. But when the two women get lost on what’s meant to be a short hike, they suddenly find themselves fighting for their lives.

As they search for food, water, and civilization, they battle injury, exhaustion, and natural predators. Sadie, however, is assaulted by more than just the unforgiving elements. She lost her first child years earlier in a tragic accident, and in her sorrow, she’s pushed everyone away—including her husband. Now, Sadie must face her past through a journey of love, loss, and learning to forgive herself if she and Lauren are to stand a chance at getting out of Yosemite alive. Will a mother’s courage be enough to save them both?

My Review:
Dancing with the Sun is a general fiction novel. Half of the story consisted of flashbacks of Sadie's past. Her son died in an accident while camping with his father, and she has mistrusted nature ever since. Her marriage is strained because she withdrew emotionally in her grief. She longs to connect with her adopted daughter, Lauren, and so reluctantly allows Lauren to take her on a relatively short trail in Yosemite. Since it was supposed to be a short walk, they did not come prepared for the possibility of getting hopelessly lost and encountering wildlife.

The characters came across as complex, real people. They reacted realistically to the situations, relationships, and loss. I cared about what happened to the characters. Though the characters were in a difficult situation, I did not feel depressed or scared by what they were going through, though I felt a lot of sympathy for them. And healing comes through the journey. The title refers to turning to face the light, both literally using the sun as a compass and figuratively as she heals from her dark grief. There were only a few uses of bad language. There was no sex. Overall, I'd recommend this emotionally genuine novel of surviving the wilderness and grief.

If you've read this book, what do you think about it? I'd be honored if you wrote your own opinion of the book in the comments.

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