4 star rating
Dancing Backward in Paradise
By Vera Jane Cook
ISBN# 059538871X
Author’s Website:  http://www.verajanecook.com/

Brought to you by OBS reviewer Kim

This book has very strong language and sexual situations, not for those under 17 years old

dancingbackwardinparadise-200I know when you start reading this the language and sexual situations don’t seem to be important to the story but it does. You see a child wild and needing taming with a mouth on her like nobody’s business but as you read you watch her grow into a beautiful young woman who has a lot of love to give. She is blossoming before your very eyes as you turn the pages and the pages turn into chapters. I am not much for bad language but in this case I can see why it is included in the story.

All states have counties, counties have towns, towns and inside of the towns you have micro little communities all their own with personalities of their own and in this book you have Paradise, which is nothing like the name suggests.

It begins with a young girl living in a trailer park called Paradise but her Mama tells her there is a place like paradise and it’s New York City not here. Grace’s mother has a plan for Grace, when she turns 18, she is to go to New York City to live for a few months and try to become an actress or model because that was her mama’s dream for herself and now it’s mama’s dream for her daughter.

Grace has to work and save up money for her trip to New York City and she gets a job with a rich woman by the name of Betty Ann Houseman and after working for her for a couple of weeks, enters Lenny Bean into her life and he turns it upside down. Although Grace has feelings for Lenny, she has to keep her promise to her mother about New York. Now her and Lenny are engaged she makes plans for New York knowing it’s going to be a couple of years before they wed anyway.

Lenny Bean has a motive to get close to Grace and it’s not for love but for money. Grace is feeling something is not right but she just couldn’t put her finger on it. After all the craziness and stuff at home and at work She has to go ahead and leave her broken heart behind. Now she’s in New York to give it a try but will her Paradise be found in the city of New York or back at home when she returns.

Grace returns home because her father becomes sick and then she realizes that Betty’s life is in danger and the very person that wants to cause her harm is Lenny Bean. Grace knows she has to do something but just not sure what, so she tells her Mom everything and her Mom comes up with a plan. Sadly, the plan doesn’t work, Betty ends up dead anyway but not by Lenny but someone else. Who would want to hurt Betty if it wasn’t Lenny?

Beware of your friends because you really don’t know who they are and what people are capable of doing and in this instance Grace has found out the hard facts of life but she also finds softness. Two worlds colliding into one. Love and happiness found in New York and love lost and a friendship gone in Paradise trailer park in Tennessee. With all this happening, choices are made, lives are changed for the love of a child and a friendship that forged stronger after death.