Saturday, October 1, 2011

New Utah Author

Recently Connie and I attended a state wide library training in Provo for children's and youth librarians. The opening speaker was new Utah author Heather Dixon. Heather has ties in Brigham City, her sister Mary Dixon Wolford lives here. Mary is a member of my book group and it was her turn to choose our book for October, so she choose her sister's debut novel Entwined. Heather described her novel as a story about becoming less selfish and more concerned about others. She grew up in a household with 6 sisters and they all shared a room in their Roy home.  So she can relate to the princesses in her book that all share one bedroom.

Based on the Grimm's Fairy Tale, 12 Dancing Princesses this tale has richly developed characters and a lushly described setting.  The book takes place during the year of mourning following the death of the Queen, mother to twelve daughters all named after flowers. The eldest daughter Azalea, is the primary focus of the tale which details her efforts to take care of her sisters after their mother's death. Heather Dixon was on the BYU dance team and describes the various dances with a sense of enchantment of a true dance lover. Her preferred dance is the Viennese Waltz.

There are so many things going on with this story that readers will be entranced from the beginning. The dancing, balls, gentlemen suitors, and gowns will appeal to any young girl who ever fancied herself a princess. There are also elements of magic and adventure, and a villain who provides some genuinely creepy moments.

This is a great fantasy that transitions well from light moments to chilly moments of genuine peril that will keep the pages turning. There are romantic elements that are not overdone and left me with a big smile on my face, and sinister moments that made me stay up late so I could finish. The entire book has a cinematic quality to it that guarantees a great flow and makes this one a perfect recommend for young fantasy lovers. This is a fantastic choice for grades six and up, or any adult who wishes to remember what reading a great fairy tale feels like. Don't pass this one up. Recommended.

Michele, Children's Librarian

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