The Dancehall Years, by Joan Haggerty

bookcover-dancehall-yearsYou’ll be drawn in slowly but steadily to this complicated but engrossing family drama set on the west coast, starting just before World War II. The lives of several families living, working and vacationing in a coastal cottage and resort region remain intertwined over generations, surprising with revelations to the end, closing at the cusp of the 1980s.

Haggerty’s prose ranges from lush and entrancing to terse and compelling, swooping from grand descriptions of the towering landscape to the minutiae of intimate relationships and interactions. A carousel of vivid characters rotates around Gwen Killam, introduced as a child relishing the summers on Bowen Island but observing, if not comprehending, signs of tension as the community feels the strains and effects of war even from afar. Haggerty follows Gwen and the community as they all grow and change, realizing each character unflinchingly but with compassion for all their foibles and motivations, making this novel palpably relatable and unforgettable.

See also:
Pickle Me This review of The Dancehall Years (July, 2016)

Thank you to the publisher, Mother Tongue Publishing, for providing a complimentary copy of The Dancehall Years.

The Dancehall Years, by Joan Haggerty (Mother Tongue Publishing, 2016)

2 thoughts on “The Dancehall Years, by Joan Haggerty

  1. Buried In Print

    This sounds very good. I read a terrific collection of short stories from their press last year, Eufemia Fantetti’s A Recipe for Disaster. Are you familiar? I think you might appreciate it as well!

    1. bookgaga Post author

      I read Eufemia Fantetti’s short story collection back in 2014 and was quite charmed, both by the stories and by the attractive book design, which said to me the publisher cared about how the book was presented to the world.


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