The Dancing Priest: A Reflection

“I don’t know why I try. There are no more good single men left.”
My friend put her chin in her hand as she said it, leaned heavy on the table. I wrapped both of my hands around my coffee mug and stared into its milky contents. The clerk at the counter called orders and the hum of life bled into our quiet. 
I didn’t know what to say. Mostly, she’s glad to be single. She’s gone through varying stages of acceptance, yes, but usually she sees the freedom of her life as a gift. But it only takes one bad date and we’re back at the coffee shop–she doubting everything she’s learned about herself, me trying to help her remember what an amazing gal she is. 
I didn’t know what to say, so I took a sip of my café ole and said nothing. Then, a thought occurred to me.
“Well,” I said. “There is Michael Kent.”
“Who?”
She looked bored. 
“Michael Kent. He’s an Olympic gold medalist. A great dancer. And he loves God.”
She rolled her eyes. 
“Well, sign me up,” she said, sarcastically. 
That’s when I realized that my friend knows me way too well. I slipped the book out of my purse and slid it across the table to her.
“I’ve just spent three days with him. I think you’ll enjoy his company.”
::
When I first picked up Dancing Priest: A Novel, I was in dire need of some soul medicine. I was working on a massive final project for the Lay Pastor program I’ve been in for two years—two years of nonfiction piled upon nonfiction. I was also laboring over the next book club selection for my job at The High Calling—another nonfiction manuscript.  My brain was inundated with facts and how-tos and why-fors and statistics and trends and I was feeling mighty heavy with the weight of it. 
It felt like story would never darken my door again. 
I needed a good antidote and I needed it quick. 
Enter my friend Glynn Young. I knew Glynn is a great writer because I frequent his blog. He’s also an avid reader—of all genres. When Glynn announced his first novel was being published, I was more than excited for him. 
I was excited for me. 
Because I love a good story.
Have I said that?
Dancing Priest did not disappoint.
Not only did Glynn Young write a beautiful love story (and write it well), he wrote a story about perseverance, the value of faith through the hard stuff, and the triumph of moral character. Glynn’s main character, Michael Kent (he can dance), is one of those characters a reader can’t get enough of. 
Well, this reader, anyway. 
Dancing Priest is the perfect antidote for the nonfiction blues.
The next week, when I met my friend for coffee, she slid my Kindle back across the table to me.
“I think I’m in love with Michael Kent,” she whispered, eyes glistening.
I smiled.
“Me too,” I said. 
We bubbled over with talk about the book for half an hour. When we parted, my friend had that old sparkle. Suddenly, I recalled how, after watching Rocky IV back in Junior High, my girlfriends and I formed a fan club for Sylvester Stallone. (Did we really do that?) A small group of adolescent girls could gather and talk about and write letters to Mr. Stallone for hours. We would recite scenes from the movie and collapse in sighs.
Only a really good story can do that for a girl. I think Dancing Priest took a few years off of my imagination. 
And I hear there is a sequel to come.  Would anyone like to join a Michael Kent fan club?

Comments

  1. says

    “I feel like story would never darken my door again.” Well, a book that’s an antidote for this feeling must be really good! 🙂 It’s on my list now.

  2. says

    Oh, yeah – I’d sign up in a heartbeat. Sigh. LOVED this book, loved the characters. So I’m also with Megan W – I’m a fan of Sarah’s, too. A great read, so fun, so romantic (in a really good way), so satisfying. Yeah, that’s a good word for it.

    Thanks for this inventive review, Laura. I’m mulling one over in my head between trips to view lovely things on this stretch of CA coast.

  3. says

    Just got through reading this book. It was a sweet read. Loved it! Can’t wait to try letting my friend “borrow” it off of Amazon. See how that works!

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