Review of Dancing on Rocks by Rose Senehi



Simmering beneath the skin and hiding around every corner are a family’s painful memories of a child who disappeared in the middle of the night 25 years ago.
Nursing her mother back to health wasn’t all that drew Georgie Haydock back to the mountain tourist town of Chimney Rock. The summer roils as her mother thrashes in her bed, insisting that the strange woman stalking her store downstairs is Georgie’s missing sister. Georgie aches to reunite with the hometown boy she never forgot; yet, she fears all the summer’s turmoil will force her to unveil the secret she’s been hiding since she was six. Naturalist Ron Elliott doesn’t care what Georgie did all those year back. She’s the one creature he’s always yearned to possess.
Dancing on Rocks weaves through a network of memories, secrets, and mutual dependencies twisting through this isolated community of 112 at the foot of Chimney Rock State Park. Thousands of visitors stream through this tourist destination every week, but in reality, the people in the small village have only each other.

My review:

I have previously read books by the author, and enjoyed them. This book didn’t in any way let me down. The author paints a vivid picture of the town, as well as pulls the reader in to the story. It draws you in and keeps you reading to find out what happens.
The characters are easy to relate to. Many have tried to get away from the town they grew up in, wanting to create a new life, and more often than not, you are pulled back. This is what happens to Georgie, and is pulled back to take care of her mother. Then the complex layer of family anger and love, as well as resentment, are added to the story. Toss in a high school sweetheart who still lives in town, and the mystery of a missing sibling, and you have the recipe for a great book.
The picture that is painted for you in regards to the town makes you able to easily visualize it. You’ll feel as if you’re hiking with Georgie and Ron, or with Georgie’s mom as she has her wound re-dressed. You’ll be able to imagine working along with Georgie’s sister in the shop with the random odds and ends.
Rose Senehi creates strong female characters who overcome the obstacles before them and come out better for it in the end, which I find amazing.

Other reviews:

“A bit of mystery, a touch of romance, a good deal of local history, and vivid descriptions of dramatic scenery distinguish Senehi’s well-crafted fourth Blue Ridge standalone…The women in this old-fashioned tale are strong, hard-working, compassionate, and shrewd in business. The heroine’s beau, a committed environmentalist, is the sort of thoroughly decent man rarely portrayed in contemporary fiction. The plot moves steadily along, blending danger without violence and conflict without malice. Fans of Margaret Maron and books about the mountain South will find much to like.”

“Dancing on Rocks manages the rare feat of being a page turner as well as a satisfying exploration of the human heart. A book that, like the river that runs through Chimney Rock, is swift and deep.” –Tommy Hays, author of The Pleasure Was Mine and What I Came to Tell You.

“Senehi weaves a multi-layered tale of emotional power and redemptive transformation. Simply put, the tale is a love story of rich complexity–love of land, love of family, love of what has been, and the longing love of what might have been. Senehi pulls you into her characters’ lives and makes you care about all of it.”–Mark deCastrique, author of A Murder in Passing, a Sam Blackman Mystery.

“Senehi’s keen observation of the natural beauty of the mountains, in sharp contrast to the tourist kitsch of a tiny mountain community, provides a vivid setting for the tangled lives and loves of the village’s inhabitants.”–Vicki Lane, author of the Elizabeth Goodweather Appalachian Mysteries.

“Filled with sadness from hardship set right at the edge of hope and love, Dancing on Rocks is riveting from beginning to end.”—Reviewed by Anita Lock for Indie Reader.

“Spooky strangers spying on the town, mysterious disappearances of long ago, buried treasure maybe it is inevitable that a story set in the presence of one of the most famous crags in America would be a cliffhanger. And Dancing on Rocks is certainly that. But it is also a telling study of individuals, families, and local history. Rose Senehi has written a complex but entertaining story.” –Fred Chappell, North Carolina poet laureate emeritus and author of Ancestors and Others and Look Back All the Green Valley

 About the author:
Dancing on Rocks is Rose Senehi s seventh novel, and the fourth that takes place in the southern Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina. Her previous novel, Render Unto the Valley, was awarded a 2012 IPPY Gold Medal as the Best Fiction Southeast. In the Shadows of Chimney Rock was nominated for the 2009 SIBA Book Award as the Best in Southern Literature. Senehi moved from Upstate New York in 1996 to Murrells Inlet, South Carolina, where she wrote Pelican Watch, Windfall, and Shadows in the Grass. She spent two years writing and researching the history of the North Carolina village of Chimney Rock so she could weave historically accurate details into this portrait of the iconic mountain community where she now lives.
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