4 1/2 stars
The Dead Don’t Dance was Charles Martin’s debut novel and it clearly stamped Charles as an author to watch. Charles’ books have become a “must read” for this reviewer!
The Dead Don’t Dance weaves the heartrending tale of Dylan and Maggie Styles, a young couple seeking to make ends meet on their South Carolina farm, while eagerly anticipating the birth of their first child. Their joy is stripped away with the stillbirth of their son, the physical and emotional trauma leaving Maggie in a coma, and Dylan distraught and self-destructive. As the doctors hold out little hope for Maggie’s recovery, Dylan stumbles blindly through his grief and commences a journey which will bring him to his knees before he discovers hope in the wilderness of his despair.
Charles Martin’s prose is simply a joy to read. He has an uncanny ability with the written word, conjuring pictures in his readers’ minds and expressing emotions with painful clarity. Written in the first person, Dylan’s tender love for Maggie is transparent and touching, his grief palpable and confronting. The minor characters are well developed, add humour, substance and believability to a novel that is not to be missed.
Read my review of the sequel Maggie by Charles Martin