By Dina Sleiman
Reviewed by Suzie Johnson
This week at the Inkwell, we’re celebrating the release of Dina Sleiman’s newest novel, Dance from Deep Within. Today I’m so pleased to tell you how much this book touched my heart.
Before I go further, in case you haven’t seen the blurb:
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?
Every young woman needs acceptance for who they are, what they believe, and where they’ve been.
But the journey to acceptance usually isn’t easy. So what happens when three very different women, with different backgrounds and dreams, form the beginning buds of friendship?
Characterization, balance, and timing are key to a novel with an ensemble cast. Dina Sleiman masters each with a skilful hand, developing a heart in her characters and dovetailing one individual storyline with the next. She delivers an extraordinary book that’s impossible not to love.
I love this tag-line Dina has on her blog:
“Three unlikely friends learning to dance to the song of the spirit.”
This is, I believe, the perfect description for both the book and its author. Dina’s heart shines through the pages in a way that makes me smile. I simply adore this book, and I’m actually reading – and loving it – again.