When You Dance with the Devil
Gwynne Forster
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Buy *When You Dance with the Devil* by Gwynne Forster online

When You Dance with the Devil
Gwynne Forster
282 pages
August 2006
rated 5 of 5 possible stars
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Imagine you’re a kid walking into a candy shop for the first time in your life. You walk down the aisles, eyes grow huge just looking at all the different varieties of gum-robbing, cavity-inducing flavors and colors of these sugary concoctions. Now imagine that you're thirty years old, not five, and the candy shop you're walking into for the first time is actually the world around you - and the candy in the jars with all the wonderful colors and flavors are actually men. Wouldn’t you get a sugary high knowing that the men find you beautiful? And wouldn’t you also soon get cavities - or into serious trouble - if no one warned you against them, and you thought you could just eat them all up? That’s what happens to Jolene Tillman.

Jolene Tillman is alone in the world for the first time, unsure of whom she is or how to act. Her mother has died from a seven year-long illness, and Jolene is left with a warped view of the world around her courtesy of her mother’s hate for men and relationships. Needless to say, she goes wild. After receiving some advice from her local pastor, Jolene travels to New England and settles into Thank the Lord Boarding House, where an interesting cast of characters come to live and teach Jolene slowly but surely how life really is.

Jolene meets Judd, who is retired and counsels everyone living at the boarding house into a new perspective on life. Richard moves into the house a bit after Jolene after retiring from the corporate world. He just wants a quiet existence but soon learns the last thing Thank the Lord Boarding House is is a quiet place. House manager Fannie Johnson guides and disciplines with a loving hand and soon uncovers some surprising revelations herself. These are the main characters but certainly not all we meet at Thank The Lord Boarding House, people who teach us that meaning of the old reprimand to "Treat others like you would like to be treated."

After some serious mishaps with men and misadventures with a couple of the male members of Thank The Lord Boarding House, Jolene finally regains a sense of herself and who she wants to be.

When You Dance With The Devil is an interesting look at what happens when the person you grew up with is no longer there and you have to struggle all alone in a world full of cruel, meaningless people and misguided notions. It is also a lesson in life and the way in which people you meet shape you. Readers will come away with a sense of themselves - and a predisposition to thinking twice before getting into any relationship.

Originally published on Curled Up With A Good Book at www.curledup.com. © Megan Duncan, 2006

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