The Dancer Steps From The Dark is the debut novel from Irish author, Seán de Gallai. It’s also a fictional book about the little-known world of Irish dancing. de Gallai certainly knows a thing or two about this area because his brother was a former member of Riverdance. This novel is ultimately a refreshing one about a strong-willed teenager named Alex and proves that de Gallai is an author that is worth keeping an eye on.

This book could have been renamed, “She’s A Rebel.” Alex is a feisty 15-year-old who is sometimes quick to anger and voice her opinion but she also has a heart of gold. She is forced away from her house and has to live with her aunt, uncle and their family. She has never met these relatives before and at times she has difficulty adjusting to her new home and school life.

Alex’s saving grace is her nine year old cousin, Kate. These two girls often speak with a wisdom that is far beyond their years. Sometimes this means they sound precocious and at other points it verges on being unbelievable. An edit and a polish would have helped tighten up these minor flaws with dialogue and structure. Kate is enthusiastic about Irish dancing and is preparing for the state championships. Alex is a former ballet dancer and the two bond over their senses of humour, jibes at one another and a love of the dance.

The prose by de Gallai is light, witty and fun and he often mixes this with quite serious themes about families and teenage girls. This book is an engaging little tale about relationships, love and domestic bliss. It’s an amusing book with a strong lead character and shows just how much fun you can have “D.A.N.C.I.N.G in the U.S.A!”


***Please note: a free copy of this book was won by the writer through a Goodreads giveaway. To read the original review on that website please visit:

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